Friday, August 12, 2016

Spicy Cauliflower, Turmeric and Chickpea Soup

The Sunday Telegraph has been running a great column in the Body and Soul section Book of the Week for a while now. They print upwards of three recipes from current release cookbooks, with a new book featured each week. There is always something of interest.

In July there was an extract from Good Good Food by English GP (and much more it seems, mainly gardening) Sarah Raven. While the Spiced Beetroot Soda Bread and Stuffed Butternut with Goat's Cheese looked good, naturally I was particularly drawn to the Spicy Cauliflower, Turmeric and Chickpea Soup.

Styled recipe
Picture Source

Turmeric is having it's moment as a superfood lately. Which is fine, herbs and spices are all good for us, and tasty. Recently I tried fresh turmeric in a few recipes and so I'm still trying to get the bright orange stains out of various kitchen implements. Go the ground, I say. And I wasn't completely won over by my first Turmeric Latte in Newcastle recently.

I'm not convinced but may try one again sometime

1 medium cauliflower
1 medium onion
2.5cm piece fresh turmeric root, grated, or 1 tsp ground turmeric

1 heaped tbs coriander seeds
Seeds from 14 cardamon pods
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves
5 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled
1 red chilli (optional )

400gm tin chopped tomatoes
1L vegetable stock
2 x 400gm tins chickpeas, drained separately
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Small bunch coriander, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in a bowl. Add the onion and turmeric.

Dry-fry all the spice seeds in a frying pain for a few minutes until fragrant, and then grind them into a coarse powder using a blender or mortar and pestle.

Add the spices and oil to the cauliflower and onion in the bowl and mix well- your hands are best for this. Place on a baking tray- don't crowd them, you may need two trays. Roast the cauliflower, onions and spice mix for 30 minutes until the edges of the cauliflower are starting to brown.

Meanwhile blitz the garlic, ginger and chilli. Put this mixture into a large saucepan and add the tomatoes. Stir, and cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, then add the stock.

Blitz the first tin of chickpeas in a food processor until smooth. Add to the soup along with the other drained but unblitzed tin of chickpeas.

Bring to the boil, add the roast cauliflower, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Season, serve with coriander.

My non-styled version
Made slightly non-vegan with a splodge of sour cream
I probably put about a kilo more coriander on after the picture-
I love the stuff and can't get enough

This was a fabulous soup. I really liked it, with and without sour cream. I'll be making it again. It may even enter the Hall of Fame. It's an unusual method really- par-roasting the veg and then boiling them.

Naturally I made a number of modifications to the original recipe:
I had a few parsnips to use up, so put two in with the cauliflower at the roasting stage
I accidentally dry roasted the ground turmeric with the other spices, it was still fine, just a bit darker.
I'm pretty sure that I added a stem or two of celery to the ginger and garlic stage. You can always use up more veggies in soup... It's a shame to waste them.
The original recipe called for 3 tins of chickpeas, but I thought two was plenty.
I bought a chilli, but forgot to put it in.

This post is linked to Souper Sundays
(how perfect)
at Kahakai Kitchen 
This post is linked to Weekend Cooking,
 a fabulous weekly meme at
 Beth Fish Reads.


  1. I love turmeric, though I've not seen fresh turmeric in our stores here. I also love coriander (cilantro) so I think this is going on my try list ... once the temperatures moderate. Way too hot to eat soup right now. :)

  2. My oh my, you've come up with another good one as well as suggestions for further reading. I would like to check out Good Good Food.
    Love your pot, by the way. I have a big red one too and love it.

  3. I think I'd love that soup.

  4. That soup sounds good. I've seen the turmeric in smoothies.
    And I do know that we are out of it as my husband told me. Must add to grocery list!

    I am off to check out the beetroot soda bread!!

  5. I have also noticed that turmeric is being used a lot lately by various cooks. I'd love to try the original root, but it doesn't seem to be available here -- yet.

  6. I always change up recipes too. I add turmeric to most savory dishes. Its not a strong flavour and it adds colour. Cheers from carole's chatter

  7. I love turmeric and buy it both fresh and powdered but it does color everything it comes in contact with, so I agree with you--the dried spice can be easier. ;-)
    This soup looks healthy, satisfying and delicious--I can see why it may make your Hall of Fame. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week!