I sometimes have food ideas that pop into my mind and refuse to leave until I have tried out the recipe. That was the case with this soup.
Chickpeas and cauliflower are such a beautiful combination that I often use in different curries and salads, but I've never made a soup of these ingredients. But now I just could not resist the appetite for a soup that is creamy and luscious, mildly spiced, but not spicy, and that warms up my body in cold and rainy Estonian spring.
Not that I would be going outside much these days anyway – I don’t want to take the slightest risk that because of me, the virus will get a chance to spread, so I figure that it is better to stay home as much as possible. At least I have time to cook and practice yoga. and Yogadownload.com classes have been an excellent inspiration. Before the crisis I rarely had time for a home yoga practice, and if I did, I practiced myself.
Now that I stay inside more and my own classes are canceled, I have done several classes, and it is really fun! I even started filming my own classes to my students, so anybody in need of online classes in Estonian – I am your girl!
Anyway, back to the soup - once I cooked it for the first time, I knew that it is a winner, even if I praise myself. It is creamy – partly because the cauliflower will turn creamy anyway, but partly because I added coconut milk. I only used one cup of coconut milk so the soup would be balanced and not too coconutty (is this a word? Probably not, but it should be). For spices, I have written down the quantities as I used them, but if you are not a spice lover, feel free to leave out the chili and play around with other spices as you see fit. Whatever quantities you decide to use, make sure you toast your spices as described in the recipe, because this is the secret behind bringing out the full flavor.
Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Chickpeas
Cooking time: 30 minutes
For the soup:
1 tbsp oil
½ of a large leek
2 stalks of celery
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 large cauliflower
2 cups hot water or vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
The juice of ¼ lemon
Salt, to taste
Directions: Chop the leek and celery roughly and sweat them in a large pot on medium heat with oil and a tiny bit of oil for 5 minutes. Then add the mustard seeds and the cumin seeds, heat for three more minutes until your kitchen is fragrant. Then add all the other spices and heat for one more minute, continually stirring.
In the meantime, chop the cauliflower. If your spices are toasted, add the cauliflower to the pot, top with stock or water, raise to boil, and simmer for 15 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.
Take it off the heat, add lemon and coconut milk and blend to a silky soup. Taste and add more salt or lemon if necessary.
For the chickpeas:
1 jar of chickpeas
1 tbsp garam masala
Drain the chickpeas and dry them as much as you can – you can use kitchen towels to do this or leave them on a plate to dry out for a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 390F and cover the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the chickpeas with oil and cover with salt and garam masala.
Bake for 15 minutes with the fan on. Halfway through, mix the chickpeas to make sure they bake evenly.
Serve the soup, top with chickpeas, and enjoy. I also like to add cilantro and pomegranate seeds.
By Kadri Raig
Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She does love to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here: www.kahvliga.ee
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