Soup-Soupe Trilogy: To post or not to post all the comforting homemade soups I served my half-pint? Probably not. Which is why you are reading the latest-last instalment of my weekly trilogy (yes, you heard right, 3 soups in 1 week, soupy little bugger wouldn’t you say). For each soup, I played up different vegetables and aromatics for the same creamy results with nary an ounce of guilt…there’s no cream! More of a concern for the parents than the kiddo, of course.
I like to infuse saffron in a bit of good sherry to add layers of deep, rich taste. But feel free to substitute chicken broth. As for the curry powder, the earlier you add it, the more intense its taste. Here also, you can choose to follow your own drummer and add it later along with the broth.
Finally, you can always add a touch of cream when serving. For taste, not texture, since this soup delivers big on the silkiness. Bon appétit !
You don’t say?
Of course you already know that curry powder is British, not Indian, invented by homebound colonials pining after the aromas of Delhi. Mind you, Indian mothers now resort to it in their own contemporary race against time. You can also create your own mix, one version follows the recipe. Wouldn’t you know.
Curried cream of cauliflower and apple soup with saffron
• few strands of saffron
• 15 ml (1 tbsp) sherry
• 15 ml (1 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
• 15 ml (1 tbsp) butter
• 1 chopped medium onion
• 1 chopped small garlic clove
• 5 ml (1 tsp) curry powder (or more to taste, but avoid overpowering the saffron)
• 1 large cauliflower, in small flowerets (orange cauliflower will intensify the soup’s golden colour)
• 2 apples, peeled and chopped into big dice
• 2 L (8 cups) chicken broth (or half-broth, half-water)
• salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Sprinkle saffron over sherry to infuse.
2. In a large pot, heat oil and butter. Gently sauté onion 5 minutes, then garlic 1 minute. Sprinkle in curry powder, mixing well. Warm 30 seconds over very low heat.
3. Add in cauliflower and apple. Mix to coat vegetables. Pour in chicken broth. If needed, add a little water to cover vegetables.
4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft. 10 minutes before the end, add in saffron and sherry.
5. Blend soup in blender until creamy, strain, then pour back into pot. If desired, add a touch of cream and reheat gently. Do not boil.
Homemade curry powder (mild)
In a small skillet, toast 15 ml (1 tbsp) each coriander, cumin, fennel and cardamom seeds. Add in one whole clove and one quarter of a small cinnamon stick. Toast 1 to 2 minutes or until spices become quite fragrant. Grind in a coffee grinder (or mortar if you have one). Add in 15 ml (1 tbsp) ground turmeric. Sift and keep in an airtight container, away from light. You can also freeze them, always cool! For a hot Madras-style curry, add 2 to 4 dried chiles to spice mix in skillet.