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Wondering what to do with that head of cauliflower in the frig? Tired of plain ol' steamed cauliflower? Ho hum. Well, with little effort and just a bit of aplomb, you can transform that humble veggie into an exotic meal-opener. A delightful, gourmet cold soup that will leave your guests asking, what IS this--it's delicious? (Don't tell them it's only cauliflower!) The secret is to use only the freshest spices. Freshly toasted and ground spices are the best. But if you do use a ready-made curry powder, be sure to select one that is fresh and does not contain salt.
- 1 cauliflower, trimmed and cut into pieces
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup half-and-half (or milk)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons curry powder, preferably homemade (see recipe below)
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, to thicken
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon peppercorn
- 1 teaspoon cardamom pod
- Steam the cut cauliflower until tender. Drain and add back to pot.
- Add chicken stock, milk, olive oil, grated ginger, and spices. Boil until nicely blended and cauliflower starts to disintegrate, about 10 minutes.
- Either pour the soup into a blender or food processor to blend, or use a hand-held mixer to smooth the soup into a lovely, creamy consistency.
- Mix cornstarch with a couple tablespoons of water to make a smooth paste. Stir this cornstarch paste into the hot soup until it has thickened, and then remove it from heat.
- Let cool in the refrigerator until time to serve. Place shaved ice in each bowl and then place a smaller terrine on top of the ice. Ladle the soup into the smaller terrines. Enjoy on a hot day, letting guests add in cayenne or other spicy seasonings to taste.
- Curry Powder:.
- Place whole spices in a heavy frying pan (without oil--just directly in the pan) and toast over low-medium heat, stirring to toast all sides of the spices. Remove and cool. Transfer to a grinder, such as a coffee grinder or a blender on high. Grind and remove to an air-tight container.
- Note: Whole turmeric is hard to find, but the other spices are easy. Make this recipe in much larger batches, say, 1/4 cup increments, and store it for later use or even place in fancy containers for gift-giving. Enjoy!
I used only two teaspoons of curry instead of two tablespoons, and felt that it was quite spicy enough. Unfortunately, I used white cauliflower and some purple cauliflower that was left over, and the color was quite unappealing.
This turned out to be quite spicy and you must LOVE curry to enjoy this soup. You might consider cutting back on the curry since it was hard to detect the flavor of the cauliflower.