Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Curried Cream of Cauliflower and Apple Soup

It's national soup month! It's really cold outside! I have half a cauliflower in my crisper calling out for attention! The perfect storm.

I wasn't sure I was going to like Curried Cream of Cauliflower and Apple Soup, since it involves curry. Curry is hit or miss for me; more frequently a miss. I think what swayed me to try this recipe was the inclusion of apple and the fact that the soup was the consistency of a thin cream rather than a thick porridge. I don't mind a thick soup but was in the mood for something lighter.

I found this recipe on One Perfect Bite. I did not attempt the garnish suggested as part of the recipe although it sounds lovely. I had David pick up a new jar of mild McCormick curry powder (since I never have curry powder on hand) which is what gives the soup its yellow colour. My kids thought the colour of this soup was revolting. Never mind them. They don't know good soup, even thought they both ate soup quite happily when they were babies. I hope someday they discover what a satisfying meal can be had from a nice, simple soup.

My new Ninja made very brief (and smooth) work of pureeing the cauliflower and apples and onions that are blended together for this soup...which might have been another reason I was in the mood for soup. Since receiving the Ninja for my birthday I've noticed I keep finding excuses to pull it out. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this soup. And pleased that I squeaked this in to my recipe journal in January, National Soup Month.

Curried Cream of Cauliflower and Apple Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, inspired by Daniel Boulud

4 cups chicken stock
1-1/2 tablespoons sweet butter
1 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons curry powder
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads or 2 pinches saffron powder
1 cup tart apples, such as Granny Smiths or Golden Delicious, peeled, split, cored and sliced
4 cups cauliflower (about 1 medium head), greens and stem discarded, head broken up
into small florets
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chives, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Curried Apple Garnish
1 cup Golden Delicious apple, peeled, split, cored, cut in 1/4 inch dice
1 teaspoon curry powder
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads or 1 pinch saffron powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1) For soup: Warm chicken stock over medium heat. Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, curry powder, and saffron and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add sliced apple and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often. Add cauliflower and warm chicken stock and bring to a boil. Boil until cauliflower is tender when pierced with a knife, approximately 20 minutes. Add cream and cook for 3 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Transfer soup in batches to a blender or food processor and purée at high speed until very smooth. Strain through a fine sieve. Keep warm until ready to serve or refrigerate when cool and reheat just before serving.
2) For garnish: Place diced apples with 1 tablespoon of water in a pan over medium heat. Add the curry powder, saffron, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, cover with a lid, and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Strain and keep warm. 
3) To serve: Ladle soup into warm soup bowls or cups. Sprinkle garnish over top. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

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