Lemony Carrot and Cauliflower Soup

Here’s the perfect antidote to brighten up a short, cold, Winter’s Day. Most Sunday’s when we have the opportunity, Russ likes to throw together a soup that incorporates any one of our homemade stocks. When we came upon this Lemony Carrot and Cauliflower Soup by New York Times chef/author Melissa Clark, we knew it was “the one” for the upcoming week.

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Russ chops parts of a whole chicken, the bony parts of which he’ll add to his collection of other chicken parts to make stock. The main chicken parts we used in our Umbrian-Style Chicken dinner…

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The finished stock cools in the pressure cooker.

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The stock is strained into a colander lined with cheese cloth.

Since we were out of chicken stock, it prompted us to make another batch, now quite simple and less time consuming since we own a pressure cooker. While the stock was cooking, we prepped the soup ingredients, knowing that we’d include 4 cups of the homemade stock in place of water.

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Even though there’s not a drop of dairy, it is super creamy and luscious! The addition of miso paste and crushed coriander to the broth zips things up without negating the comfort factor. The flavors all come together in the end with the final lemon juice, sea salt, cilantro, and smoky chili powder, so I highly recommend you don’t omit these ingredients.

The beauty of a soup like this—other than its bone-warming properties—is that you don’t need a recipe. You can pretty much simmer together any combination of vegetables with a little water or broth, purée it, top it with good olive oil and salt, and end up with something good to eat.

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While the stock was cooking, we prepped the soup ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for serving
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and diced (2 cups)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 medium carrots (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 small (or half of a large) head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, more to taste
  • Smoky chile powder, for serving
  • Coarse sea salt, for serving
  • Cilantro leaves, for serving

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In a large, dry pot over medium heat, toast coriander seeds until fragrant and dark golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

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Add the carrots and crushed coriander to the pot of cooked onions and garlic.

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Five minutes after the broth is added, stir in cauliflower and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.

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Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth.

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As a topper, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with chile, sea salt and cilantro leaves.

Directions

  1. In a large, dry pot over medium heat, toast coriander seeds until fragrant and dark golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and coarsely crush.
  2. Return the pot to medium heat. Add the oil and heat until warm. Stir in onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly colored, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute.
  3. Add carrots, crushed coriander, salt and 6 cups water to the pot (we used 4 cups stock and 2 cups water). Stir in the miso until it dissolves. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the soup from the heat. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. (Alternatively, you can let soup cool slightly then purée it in batches in a food processor or blender.) If necessary, return the puréed soup to the heat to warm through. Stir in the lemon zest and juice just before serving. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with chile, sea salt and cilantro leaves.

 

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