What: Spicy Cauliflower Soup
Where: The Art of Simple Food
Who: Alice Waters
One head of cauliflower and a team of spices make this a surprisingly robust, almost-meaty soup. Waters calls it “unusually spicy and full-flavored,” and this is accurate. It is a wonderful cold-weather bowl, and at the cost of a cauliflower, an onion, and a carrot, it is truly inexpensive.
I topped this with cilantro, avocado, and leftover crockpot taco chicken. It tasted so much like a chili that I envision creating this soup again with white or pinto beans and chicken. Waters called for coarsely puréeing the soup by vigorously stirring the soup with a whisk; I used my handheld blender to get accomplish the same thing. But before adding chicken or beans or anything else, this soup would be divine puréed smooth in the Vitamix blender.
Waters does not specify how much salt to use; I designate the amount at 1 – 1.5 teaspoons. She also calls for 3 cups of chicken broth + 3 cups of water. I used 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water, and as this was a dinner soup and I was going for a slightly meatier flavor, I also added 1.5 teaspoons Chicken Better Than Bouillon.
The key to this soup is to simmer it gently, otherwise the fresh cilantro sprigs will turn the soup bitter.