A cauliflower by any other name

Sometimes it’s just mentioning the name of the food that can turn up the nose of my kids.  But change it a bit, don’t mention the name and wham, they like it.  Totally by accident I again found this out.  I didn’t purposefully omit “cauliflower” when I had my middle son try the soup I’d just made, because he of all my sons loves cauliflower. I just said, “Here try this.” It’s the other two who profess to “hate it”.  That is until I made the soup.  They saw it cooking and my youngest one asked what the smell in the kitchen was, so I showed him the cauliflower soup still in it’s adolescence.  He looked and said, “Yuck! I Hate Cauliflower!”  and walked away.  Well, after I puréed the soup, and it no longer looked the same, I approached my cauliflower-loving middle with a spoonful.  He ate it and requested another spoonful immediately, so my youngest sitting next to him and not wanting to be left out, said, “Hey I want some!”  “Ok!”, I gave him a taste.  And another, and another.  And so on and so on. Well then my eldest wanted a taste.  And another… so much for cauliflower hating.  They all had more.  I think the spices and appearance were just camouflaging enough that they were open to sample.

I adapted Spicy Cauliflower Soup from The Art of Simple Food byAlice Waters

Curried Cauliflower Soup

2/3 lg head cauliflower, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 onion diced

1 sm carrot, peeled and diced

3/4 tsp cumin seeds, crushed

3/4 tsp coriander seeds, crushed

1/2 tsp hot chili powder

1/4 tsp turmeric

salt and pepper

1 Tbsp fresh cilantro chopped or 1 cube frozen cilantro

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 cup vegetable stock

1 cup water

Sauté onion and carrot in olive oil. Stir in spices and remaining ingredients. Bring to boil then lower heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes.  Purée with immersion blender. Optional garnish- – plain yogurt, mint and lime juice

A Winter’s Soup

A snowy Winter’s day seems like the perfect day to make soup.  The boys were home because of a “snow day” but they would have been home anyway since they had strep throat. We were expecting 7-11 inches and got somewhere on the higher side. I had wanted to make a curried cauliflower soup for the first time but since I had less than a complete head, I figured I’d add some carrots, potatoes and a couple of parsnips to the pot. Make it more of a curried vegetable soup. 


Curried Winter Vegetable Soup

1 small onion, minced

1 head (or there about) cauliflower, cut into pieces

3 potatoes, diced

4 carrots (use fewer for a more rounded flavor)., sliced

2 small parsnips, sliced

3 cups vegetable stock

1 Tbsp oil- vegetable, canola, peanut, safflower

Water—enough to cover vegetables after stock is added

Sea salt to taste (add towards the end)

Curry spice mix— I used 2 tsp Penzy’s Singapore Spice blend (black pepper, lemon peel, garlic, onion, turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, white pepper, cardamom, cloves, cayenne) with some extra:

            ¼ tsp garlic powder

            ¼ tsp turmeric

            ¼ tsp cumin

            ¼ tsp ginger

Cream (optional)

Saute the onions in the oil.  Add the curry spices.  Mix in the cauliflower so it’s well coated. Add stock, rest of vegetables and any needed water.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer until all the vegetables are tender.  Add salt to taste (Important to add salt towards the end, because as the water/stock boils away the salt becomes more concentrated and you can’t undo it). Blend with an immersion blender.  Add cream if you’d like… or not.

I really liked it but will make it with fewer carrots next time; they were the predominant flavor.  As far as the kids: my middle son said he didn’t like it even though he tried it and ate half of it without any fuss.  Actually, he was quite keen to try it.  My youngest refused and the eldest wasn’t interested at the time (he wasn’t feeling well).  We’ll see if I can get any of them to like it. It might just be a my kids really won’t eat this one! Or maybe I can blame it on the strep.  I’ll try again with the leftovers tomorrow.

At least my middle son had a little bit of energy to play in the snow.