A flavor-packed homemade soup that doesn’t require slicing, dicing and chopping vegetables, or hours of simmering on the stove top.
During the long, cold winter months there’s nothing more comforting than a big bowl of soup. Unfortunately, many soup recipes require extensive preparation and long hours of cooking to get the deep flavor that we’ve all come to expect in homemade soups, and not everybody has that kind of time. That’s why blender soups have become my new best friend. I think of them as easy, chilly weather comfort food. You can whip them up very quickly, without a lot of effort, and, if you use the right ingredients, still get the same great taste as soups that have been simmering all day. This Curried Cauliflower Blender Soup is a case in point. Dump some cooked cauliflower into a blender or food processor, along with some other ingredients, and whir it up until it’s smooth and velvety. Then just heat it and eat it! It doesn’t get much easier than that! (Check out my Creamy Tomato Corn and Avocado Blender Soup too.)
The key to the rich flavor and simplicity of this soup is the roasted garlic. I’ve replaced all of the aromatics that you’d normally find in homemade soup with this one simple ingredient. Instead of chopping, slicing, and dicing several different vegetables (i.e. carrots, onions, celery), which is very time-consuming, you roast a whole head of garlic in a little bit of olive oil and then squeeze it out of its papery skin. Roasted garlic is sweet and mellow, but also intensely flavored, so it eliminates the need for any other aromatics. Although the garlic takes 45 minutes to roast, and then needs time to cool off before you can remove the cloves from the skin, this can be done ahead of time, and does not require being tethered to the stove top as would be the case with sautéing vegetables. When I make this soup, I roast the garlic up to 3 days before. With this step already out of the way, I can literally make Curried Cauliflower Blender Soup, start to finish, in less than 15 minutes.
An optional garnish for Curried Cauliflower Blender Soup are these yummy Crispy Chickpeas, pictured above. If you’re making this soup for company, or simply want it to be more colorful, then these little tidbits floating on top, along with some fresh chopped cilantro, make for a more visually appealing presentation. Making the Crispy Chickpeas will, of course, add to the total cooking time of the soup, but these too, can be made ahead.
When I was a kid I thought cauliflower was the most vile vegetable – just the smell of it would make me feel sick, so it’s hard for me to believe that cauliflower is now one on my favorite foods! I’m not alone though. The rise in popularity of cauliflower has been nothing short of meteoric. U.S. farmers sold $239 million worth of cauliflower in 2012. Fast forward to 2016 and that number jumped to $390 million – a staggering increase of almost a 64%. Part of cauliflower’s appeal is connected to a trend toward more plant-based eating, but its versatility also has a lot to do with it. Cauliflower can be riced, mashed, made into pizza crust, pan-fried to resemble steak, and baked with zesty seasonings as a vegan substitute for buffalo chicken wings. With creative cauliflower options like these, Curried Cauliflower Blender Soup might sound a little boring, but I promise, its delicious, savory flavor, and ease of preparation will win you over. If you like the curry-cauliflower flavor combination then be sure to see my recipe for Curried Cauliflower Skillet Pizza.
- 1 head garlic
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound frozen cauliflower florets
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup plain, full-fat, Greek Yogurt
- ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon curry
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Crispy chickpeas - optional garnish (recipe in notes)
- Fresh cilantro, chopped - optional garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the head of garlic on a square of aluminum foil and drizzle the olive oil on top. Wrap it in the foil to fully encase it and place in on a small baking sheet. Roast on the bottom rack of the oven for 45 minutes.
- Cook cauliflower according the package directions. Set aside while the garlic roasts.
- Once the foil wrapped package is cool enough to handle, unwrap it and squeeze the garlic out of its papery skin into the carafe of a high-powered blender or the work bowl of a food processor. Add the cauliflower and remaining ingredients (except garnishes) and blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a medium saucepan and heat on the stove top.
- Just prior to serving, garnish with crispy chickpeas and fresh cilantro if desired.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Drain 1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas and pat them dry.
Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil or avocado oil, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt.
Roast them on the bottom rack of the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking time.
After they’ve finished roasting, leave them in the turned OFF oven for 30 minutes or until they reach the desired level of crispness.
Sample them every 10 minutes or so. They should be crispy and crunchy but not so hard that you feel like you’re going to crack a tooth!
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