Sarah Raven: Spicy cauliflower, turmeric and chickpea soup

Posted · Add Comment

This soup has a coarse texture, halfway between a soup and a stew. Turmeric is an intense gold root and in India it’s well known for being good for us. It’s a perfect and traditional partner to cauliflower, giving good flavour as well as colour. Put it in your soups, your smoothies, your curries; and even – as in Rajasthan – add it to your scrambled eggs.

For 8 as a main course, 12 as a starter:

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2.5cm piece of fresh turmeric root, grated, or 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 heaped tbsp coriander seeds
  • Seeds from 14 cardamom pods
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 heaped tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil or 1 tsp set coconut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 5cm piece of fresh root ginger (about 40g), peeled
  • 1 green chilli
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 3 x 400g tins of chickpeas
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Small bunch of coriander, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

Break and cut the cauliflower into florets and put into a bowl. Add the onion and turmeric.

Dry-fry all the spice seeds in a frying pan for a few minutes, and then grind them into a coarse powder using a blender or a pestle and mortar.

Add the spices and oil to the cauliflower and onion in the bowl and mix very well – your hands are best for this. Place on a baking tray. Roast the cauliflower, onions and spice mix for 30 minutes until the edges of the cauliflower are starting to brown. Meanwhile, in a small food processor or liquidiser, blitz the garlic, ginger and chilli.

Put this garlic mixture into a large saucepan and add the tomatoes. Stir, and cook over a medium heat for 4–5 minutes, then add the stock.

Drain 1 tin of chickpeas then blitz in a food processor until smooth. Add to the soup along with another drained but unblitzed tin of chickpeas.

Bring to the boil, add the roast cauliflower, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, when everything should be done. Add the final drained tin of chickpeas – just long enough to warm through.

Season with salt and pepper, scatter with coriander leaves and serve.

» 142 calories for 12 servings, 212 for 8

Sarah Raven’s new book is Good Good Food published by Bloomsbury £25