Of Soup and Spices

It’s fall and soup season again. So, if I see vegetables in the fridge for more than a day, I’m tempted to turn it into soup. This week the lucky contestants were cauliflower and leftover baked potato wedges. Now, I like puréed soups and The Hubs likes chunky soups. So, I’m going to write this one out so you can do this soup either way with a few modifications.

I was in a spice mood when I started making this soup. This is one of those soups where I just open up the spice drawer and just start pulling out anything that sounds interesting. It probably helped that I’d been talking to my mom the day before about a doctor who wrote a cookbook and was pushing spices like turmeric, mustard, sesame, etc. etc. Of course, I am also completely hooked on making my own bread since I found HFCS on the list of ingredients of bread I was about to buy. And I figured I needed something else to do with the 12 pounds of honey I bought. (…Don’t ask) So, I figured soup would be the best thing to dip my bread into.

 

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Curried Cauliflower-Potato Soup
(Makes 4 quarts)

1/4 c curry powder (or to taste)
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 large spanish onion, minced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 large heads cauliflower
2 quarts potatoes, baked
1 can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock

Chunky Soup:

NOTE: cut cauliflower & potatoes into 1/2″ pieces. (Make it look pretty).

In a separate pot warm the stock over medium-low heat. Add coriander, cumin, sesame seeds & mustard seeds to a stock pot and turn to medium heat. When you start smelling all the spices (the whole spices may start popping), grind the spices in a spice grinder or leave whole. Add the minced onions, garbanzo beans and olive oil. Add the curry, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. Stir the onions and beans occasionally until the onions are translucent and the spices are starting to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic & stir the ingredients until you can smell the garlic. Add the cauliflower florets and cubed potatoes. Turn to coat with the spices. Add enough stock to cover the vegetables. Cover the pot and let cook until the cauliflower is soft enough that you can put a sharp knife through it easily. Add more stock as needed to get to desired brothyness (it’s a word now…). Add more salt & pepper as needed. Serve with buttered multigrain bread w/ apple butter or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Puréed Soup

NOTE: Cut the cauliflower & potatoes any way you like. It’ll look the same in the end.

In a separate pot warm the stock over medium-low heat. Add curry, coriander, cumin, sesame seeds & mustard seeds to a stock pot and turn to medium heat. When you start smelling all the spices (the whole spices may start popping), add the minced onions, garbanzo beans and olive oil. Add the smoked paprika, salt & pepper. Leave the onions and beans to cook in the spices, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the spices are starting to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic & stir the ingredients until you can smell the garlic. Add the cauliflower and potatoes. Turn to coat with the spices. Add 1 quart of the stock. Cover the pot and let cook until the cauliflower is soft enough that you can put a fork through it easily. Purée in batches in a blender or in the pot with a hand blender. Add more stock as needed to get to desired consistency. Add more salt & pepper as needed. Serve with buttered multigrain bread w/ apple butter or grilled cheese sandwiches.

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