in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cauliflower and Pumpkin Soup

Seasonal eating. One of my favorite things about winter is soup. Belly warming, aromatic, soul pleasing soup. This one is an interpretation of Indian cuisine I came up with a few weeks ago that uses readily available ingredients and comes together very quickly. I've made it several times already, once served it in bread bowls, which was exceptionally nice.
Cauliflower and Pumpkin Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned but cooking your own would be awesome)
4 cups hot water
2 cubes vegetable bullion (or 1 tablespoon chicken stock paste)
salt to taste
pomegranate garnish, optional (see Hints for additional serving ideas)
Heat a 2 quart sauce pan over medium high heat. Add oil to pan. Stir in onion and cook for 1 minute. Stir in cauliflower, 1/2 teaspoon salt and Garam Masala. Cook for 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. When onion begins to brown, add the pumpkin puree and cook for an additional 3 or 4 minutes. Then add the water and bullion. Bring to a simmer and puree with an immersion blender. Check seasonings and add salt if necessary. Serve hot with pomegranate garnish if desired.
Hints: Chop the cauliflower pretty finely. A really nice thing about soup is the flexibility in measurements. The proportions of cauliflower to pumpkin here is about 1 to 1 in weight. I like Target's Archer Farms brand Garam Masala and toasting it with the cauliflower brings out a beautiful flavor. A immersion blender is really useful but you could also blend in a counter top model. I also ate this soup as lunch heated up with a spoonful of white hominy and of red quinoa in the bottom of the bowl--it was fantastic and I highly recommend eating it this way!

This cauliflower pumpkin combo could go another direction with different flavors--maybe Mexican with chili powder and cumin; or Greek with some lemon zest and oregano. Let me know if you come up with a great flavor profile.

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