Cauliflower is a vegetable with a PR problem. It’s pale and scrunched-up and intimidatingly hefty, and it looks unmistakably like a brain. Add that to the way most people try it – boiled into much, or raw with some tasteless low-fat dip – and it’s not surprising that the poor cauliflower doesn’t have many fans.
But the cauliflower haters are missing out. As well as being jam-packed with nutrients (notably Vitamins C, K, B6, and B9), cauliflower has a savory-sweet side just waiting to shine through. The trick is to roast it first, with plenty of fat – this concentrates the flavor and softens the florets without turning them to mush. After a spin in the blender with some coconut milk and herbs, any unfortunate visual associations are completely gone: you’re left with a silky, creamy soup delicious enough to make you forget the words “diet food” forever.
As well as a versatile side dish, this would also be a wonderful soup for anyone sick in bed: the chicken broth is very healing, and the soup overall is easy to keep down without being bland or boring. To add a little crunch, you can sprinkle some bacon on top: this is optional, but the smoky flavor of the bacon adds an incredible taste and really complements the texture of the soup itself. A dash of parsley adds a nice visual contrast, and your bowl is ready to serve!
Roasted Cauliflower Soup Recipe
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 1h.
- 2 heads of cauliflower, cut into florets;
- 3 garlic cloves, minced;
- 2 shallots, minced;
- 3 cups chicken stock;
- 1 cup water;
- 1 bay leaf;
- 1 tsp. dried thyme;
- 2 cups full-fat coconut milk;
- 4 cooked bacon slices; cut into pieces; (optional)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil or ghee;
- Fresh parsley for garnishing;
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste;
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, garlic, shallots, and olive oil.
- Spread the cauliflower mixture on a roasting pan.
- Place the roasting pan in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a large saucepan and add the chicken stock and water.
- Add the thyme and the bay leaf, and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat.
- Cover the saucepan. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- Puree the soup using an immersion blender or a blender.
- Stir in the coconut milk and season to taste with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Top each bowl with crispy bacon, if desired, and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve warm.