I make a lot of soup in the winter, because I love it and it's easy. And it's great to pack for lunches, freeze or have for dinner with a chunk of crusty bread. Most of the time, my soups don't have meat in them and a lot of the time I use whatever vegetables I have in my fridge at the end of the week.
But, lately I have been on a cauliflower kick. Cauliflower is so versatile, yet it's still a bit underrated. Although it's climbing up there on popularity. If you have ever had roasted cauliflower, you'll know what I mean..... Adding cumin, cilantro and lime juice to this soup makes it bright and satisfying. It's also healthy, delicious and very easy to make. Perfect to make on a cold weeknight in the middle of winter, it's done in less than 30 minutes. Here's the recipe.
1 head of cauliflower, cut up
1 stock of celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped (or 2 shallots, which I used)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups of chicken stock
1&1/2 cups of milk (or coconut milk)
1 bunch of cilantro
1&1/2 tsp. cumin
1 T. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Heat oil in dutch oven, add onion, celery and carrot. Simmer for 5 minutes on medium low to sweat. Turn off heat, add garlic, jalapeno and cumin. Stir. Add chicken stock, bring to a simmer and add cauliflower. Turn to a low simmer and let cook for about 15 minutes with the lid askew (until you can run your knife through the florets easily).
Remove pan from heat, add salt and red pepper flakes. Let cool for about 10 minutes, stir. With an immersion blender, puree soup. Return soup to medium heat and bring to a simmer, add milk. Stir well. Add chopped cilantro and check seasoning. Turn off heat. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lime in soup right before serving. Accompany with wedges of lime and crusty bread.
Note: The jalapeno peppers I buy can be either mild, medium or hot. So, I use a half of one, seeded and chopped. I like things spicy, so I usually add a pinch of red pepper flakes as well. If you don't, then just use one or the other. The chances of less spicy is with the red pepper flakes though. And before you add the pinch of red pepper is to taste the soup beforehand. Most times, it's got a nice kick with just the jalepeno.