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Creamy Cauliflower Soup
of all the foods I crave regularly at this stage in my life, I. CRAVE. HEALTHY!!  I get kind of depressed about the fact that there are no good salad bars close to where I work--no organic store, not a whole lot of variety of fresh foods . . . there are TONS of places to eat--GREAT places to eat, but when you're surrounded by rich, easy food you kinda sorta start longing for more basic nutrition.  The thrill of the kill is gone I guess, and in its place is the more sobering voice inside that says, that's nice but it's not really what you need.

I recently watched "Forks over Knives" while I was sick in bed with the stomach flu and lemme tell ya, just my honest o-pin-ion here, no documentary has made so WEAK of an argument for a plant based diet, I mean seriously was that film sponsored by the beef barons???  the film states as it's central argument that diets that are rich in meat and dairy promote very specific cancers, yet there's never any mention about studies done long terms on religious followers of the adkins diet.  I would think that if high beef and milk consumption were to be surefire ways to liver cancer, then you'd see a whole bunch of people in the united states who were long time adkins followers begging for liver transplants.  I think the people who made that documentary could have made a far more effective point by pointing out that the types of meats that people choose to consume--burgers, nuggets, lunchmeat, hotdogs--are as processed as wheat is in Cheezits and Dorritos.

In my past attempts to go all vegetarian, I found myself packing on a lot of weight because I would choose pasta and rice dishes frequently, in part because they are cheap and in part because they are easy.  Anyone can boil up a pot of noodles, toss it with a few sateed vegetables and call it healthy, but in reality, unless you're a marathon runner, all that wheat in the pasta just turns to sugar in the blood stream, so in my mind it's almost like covering cupcakes in tomato sauce and calling it healthy.  Same thing with rice:  you can sit there and say to yourself that you're going to just take all the white rice in the recipes you have and substitue it with brown rice, but let's face it -- brown rice is a pain in the ass and it's kinda nasty.  it doesn't matter how long you cook it (and cook it, and cook it, and cook it 'cause that shit takes FOREVER to get tender), brown rice just does not have the same consistency as white rice and there are some recipes in which that shit just plain old don't work!

With all that being said, I am ALWAYS on the lookout for recipes that are plant based without having to rely on copious amounts of pasta and rice, so when I found this little gem in "Experience Life" magazine (january/february 2012), I pounced on it, even though on paper it didn't look appealing at all :

Creamy Cauliflower soup:

1tbs butter (i used soy butter)
1 smallish yellow onion
1 or 2 stalks celery (guess that depends on how much you like celery)
fresh grated ginger (I love fresh ginger so I just grate that sonmabitch till there's a small mound)
2 medium carrots, diced 
3 cups chopped cauliflower
1/2 raw cashew pieces 
4 cups of chicken stock (wanna make this vegan easy?  just buy a carton of chickenNOdle broth from your local healthfood store or use vegetable bullion -- I will say that chickenNOdle is gonna work out much better so I'd spend a few more cents for it)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (yuk, I know, but there's a reason for it -- don't skip out on it)
Salt and pepper --  be liberal with it
Red Pepper flakes -- >:}

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.  Add onion, celery and ginger and saute till vegetables are softened.  Add carrots, cauliflower and cashews and sprinkle with salt to make the vegetables "weep" [now I took my cauliflower to a grater and grated it down to a rice-like consistency, but this is because I wanted my soup to be fairly smooth and I only have a blender to work with, I don't have a food processor].  cover and cook, stirring every few minutes, for about 10 minutes total or until vegetables are very soft.  Dont' be afraid to give your mix an extra tablespoon of butter if needed -- you really don't want to scorch your vegetables.  add the chickenNOdle stock, cover and simmer for about 10 more minutes.  then you're going to PUREE.

A word about pureeing hot liquids:  don't trust your processor or blender to handle it all in one gulp.  I have survived a kitchen catastophe where the plastic ring at the bottom of the blender cracked and split while the damn thing was in motion and it slung scalding hot liquid all over my HOUSE, not just the kitchen, and that shit hitting flesh is a bad muthafuckin pain!!!  take yourself a teacup and blend your soup one teacup at a time.  it's fine to blend a cup, add a cup because your blender is designed to take on "mush" liquids, so what I usually do is blend a cup, add a cup, blend a cup, add a cup until it's full, then very, very carefully lift the blender container up out of the base and dump the puree back into the pot or into a server.  

Once this soup is purreed it should come out with a kind of fluffy texture -- someone eating this soup would have NO CLUE that it's 90% cauliflower!  it tastes alot like nacho cheese dip, so serve it with something dippy like crackers or french bread, or if you really are trying to tame the carb monster, dip in some carrots or cucumbers . . . prolly wouldn't dip it with pork rinds . . . that's just plain old sick . . . but bacon strips . .  .hmmmmmmmm

so again, not my recipe but wonderful just the same!!  please DO make this and enjoy!  I paid $3.99 for a head of organic cauliflower, $1.50 for carrots and the rest of that stuff I just had layin' around the house anyway, so why NOT make it organic and show off how greener-than-thou you are to your unenlightened friends :)


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