Soup season has arrived.
This, my second, Autumn in the Pac Northwest has been a bit more damp than the first one. Soggy, vibrant leaves are crushed underfoot and eventually create outlines, almost fossil-like imprints in the sidewalk. As long as I’ve got my rainboots on and a mug of something warm is within arm’s reach, I am totally on board with all of it.
I been working at my new job for a month now. Going to work everyday in a gorgeous cookbook store with incredible events, and working alongside smart, amusing and hardworking people has done wonders for my disposition. I’m spoiled and it has made the months and months of job searching, applications, interviews and almost-but-not-quite-what-we-are-looking-for’s worth it. Which makes it quite impossible to see this blustery fall as a negative.
It is dark by the time I get home now, and I’m often just a tad carsick from the 8 bus’s constant stop and go while overflowing with riders. They really need to get on top of things with that bus route. It is out of control. Anyway, though surrounded by cookbooks and constant food creativity, sometimes one is just too tired or overwhelmed to create anything gourmet for dinner. Most often, I just require an aromatic, flavorful dinner that induces warmth, comfort and satisfaction. Plus, my immersion blender is so fun to use and it makes my soups seem lavish. With a smooth,puréed soup you can pour that fancy flourish of golden olive oil on top which instantly elevates a simple soup to 11.
Creamy Curry Cauliflower Soupadapted from The Kitchn
Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Cut up a large head of cauliflower into florets, toss with olive oil, salt, black pepper and a couple dashes of cumin. Roast in the oven, stirring occasionally till lightly toasty and browned, about 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile heat up some olive oil in your soup pot and dice up a large sweet onion and 3-5 garlic cloves. Once the oil is hot, cook the onions with some salt until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Toss in the garlic and cook until slightly browned. When the cauliflower is done roasting, add it to the soup pot and stir together. Add about 5 cups of vegetable broth and stir to combine. Cover until it starts to simmer. Add a couple pinches of salt, and 1 teaspoon of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of coriander and any other of these types of spices that strike your fancy. Adjust these to your taste. Let the soup simmer for about 10-15 minutes or so to let the flavors all meld. Take off the heat and blend, using an immersion blender or carefully using a regular blender. Pour 1 cup of half/half or milk or coconut milk into the soup and stir to mix or re-blend to combine. Return the soup to the stove and keep on low to keep it hot as you come back for seconds and thirds. Taste it to see if your seasonings need adjusting. Dish out into bowls and top with a curl of olive oil, red pepper flakes, fresh parsley and fresh black pepper.
All soups need a warm, bready substance as a delivery system and my favorite with this is Trader Joe’s frozen garlic naan. Spread a bit of butter on top and toast in the oven for a couple minutes and you’ve reached absolute dinner perfection.