After a taste of some warm summer sunshine over the last week, Saturday was a bit of a dreary day, and reminded us that it is, after all, still April. I really fancied some soup with crusty bread, but the fridge was looking more than a little bare. One soggy cauliflower sat looking grey and sorry for itself at the back of the fridge, with nothing but a lonely onion for company. So here’s what happened – Roasted Cauliflower & Cumin Soup.
This is what I think of as a ‘substantial soup’ recipe – soup that’s filling enough to be a main meal in its own right. Cauliflower is another one of those vegetables that really comes into its own when roasted, and cumin and other Indian spices complement it beautifully. The puy lentils add a bit of bite, as well as the protein fix you need to really fill you up.
- 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 onion, sliced thickly
- 4 garlic cloves, squashed with the flat side of a knife, but with skins left on
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or groundnut oil
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 75 g puy lentils, rinsed
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp dairy-free yoghurt (soya or coconut)
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Place the cauliflower florets, sliced onion and squashed garlic cloves on a large baking tray. Drizzle over the oil and sprinkle with the cumin and garam masala. Toss until everything is fully and evenly coated. Roast for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the lentils. Simmer for 20 minutes then drain and set aside in a small bowl.
- When the cauliflower has roasted, remove from the oven. Find the garlic cloves, and pop them out of their papery skins. Pick out a few small cauliflower florets per person as a garnish and set aside. Tip the remaining cauliflower, onion and garlic into the large saucepan and add the vegetable stock. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Using a hand/stick blender, purée the soup until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Add the puy lentils and return to a gentle simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- To serve, pour into bowls and top with a dollop of yoghurt and sprinkle of chilli and lemon zest.