I hope you all had a lovely holiday season. We sure did, and spent many a cherished moment with friends and family, and many an evening playing games, building Legos and reading with the kids by the fire. Our kids are getting older, and it’s always a fear for me that Christmas morning will become less special as the magic wears off, and the teen years take hold.
But for us, at least this year, the exact opposite was true. We woke later, and opened our gifts at a leisurely pace that was so much different from Christmases when the kids were little. Back then it was a frenzied excitement, beginning much too early I must add (after we’d gotten to bed much too late). All the gifts would be opened by seven, and the living room would look like a war zone, strewn with paper, boxes and tissue. This year, we took our time, enjoying everything so much more. It truly was a Christmas to remember.
It was also, for a nice change of pace, unseasonably cold. In fact (at risk of sounding like a total baby) this winter has been quite a chilly one for Southern California. I think my apples might even get enough chill time to produce this year! We’ve been filling our bellies with hearty stews and soups of all kinds, like this curried carrot and cauliflower soup. I am a big fan of curry. I love the way it fills my whole house with its warming aroma. If you’re not, however, feel free to omit it, or try adding a pinch of nutmeg or allspice in its place.
This soup is perfect for January because it’s easy on both our overextended waistlines, and overextended wallets. I made a big pot of it, and we ate it for lunch, but it would make a fine supper too, especially if served with a salad, some gluten-free rolls, and a nice hunk of cheese. Yes, please.
This soup is hearty fare for those cold, blustery days of winter. I love curry very much, and tend to add quite a bit to recipes when I use it--however feel free to adjust the amount of it used to suit your taste. Curry, like most spices, tastes best when it has a chance to "bloom" in hot oil. Because I make blended soups often I purchased a relatively inexpensive stick blender (the plug-in ones are MUCH better than those with a rechargeable battery). But if you don't have one, use your stand blender. Make sure to not overfill the blender, and to vent the lid or you will have a hot, messy explosion on your hands (I know this from experience).
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 stalks of celery, sliced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
- 1 can of light coconut milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil over a medium flame in a large stock pot. Add celery, carrots, onion and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Add curry powder, and cook for 5 minutes more, or until vegetables are tender and translucent, and the curry powder is fragrant.
- Add the cauliflower, chicken stock and coconut milk. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover partially, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.
- Remove cover and allow the soup to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully transfer soup, 2 cups at a time, to a blender with a ventable lid. Puree soup until totally smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat. Alternately, use a stick blender (best invention ever) to puree the soup in the pot. If you've been blending the soup in a blender, return the soup to the pot and re-heat if necessary.
- Taste soup for seasoning, and serve warm, with a dollop of plain yogurt if desired.