The hubby and I are hoping to lose a few, seeing as we basically haven’t stopped eating since the Christmas season last year. Soups have been our go-to lunches since the amount of liquid in them deceive us into thinking we are full just after one big bowl. To my surprise one day, the hubby requested for cauliflower soup. Some time back, I cooked a roasted garlic and cauliflower dish with cheddar cheese melted over. It got him loving the veg, and he has since been on kind of a cauliflower bender. I was very excited because it’s not everyday that my meat-loving hubby requests for a dish which heralds a vegetable, so I jumped right on it and made one, inspired by Lidia Bastianich’s recipe.
I adore this soup because it ticks all the boxes for me. It is robust in flavour, figure-friendly since there is no cream involved, super nutritious from the truck-load of vegetables and the lentils pack a protein punch. Plus, it feeds everyone in the fam, down to my 19-month old baby girl. I leave the soup chunky (main picture) for the adults and my four-year old son, who has his portion with brown rice for added bulk. I puree the rest for my daughter, and swirl a tablespoonful of Greek yogurt in before serving (pictured below). Because this soup freezes well, I stash small tubs of it in the freezer as her version of instant microwave dinners.
Cauliflower and Red Lentil Soup (serves 4)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small knob of ginger, peeled and chopped finely
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
pinch of dried chili flakes (optional)
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup of red lentils, rinsed
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
a handful of fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
Cover red lentils completely with hot water, and leave to soak, approximate 10 minutes.
Saute onions in olive oil for a few minutes until softened.
Add garlic, ginger and chili flakes if using. Saute for another few minutes until garlic softens and browns slightly.
Sprinkle in ground coriander and turmeric to onion mix. Stir well to combine.
Add carrots and stir to coat with spices and onion mix.
Pour in stock, red lentils and their soaking water and deglaze the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-min.
Add cauliflower and simmer for 10 to 15-min, until cauliflower is tender.
Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve soup as is, with good extra virgin olive oil and fresh coriander over top, or puree and dollop with Greek yogurt.