Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Lilly Higgins: Easy peasy cauliflower and coconut soup

This velvety smooth vegan-friendly soup is irresistibly moreish and so easy to make

I first came across the cauliflower and coconut combination at Rustic Stone a few years ago. Dylan McGrath’s Dublin restaurant had a coconut cauliflower puree on the menu that was silky smooth and incredibly moreish. I was at that frustrating stage of my pregnancy where I was constantly starving but nauseous too and very few foods appealed to me. This puree was addictive though and I could have eaten an entire bowl of it. I’ve been combining the two ingredients ever since. Now all three of my children love this soup, it takes 20 minutes to make and they can never guess what’s in it. There are very few ingredients, it’s one of those recipes that is easy to make your own so use this as a base and adore it as is, or add your own stamp. The ginger is subtle with the creamy blanket of coconut calming any potential heat so do add more if you prefer a spicy ginger hit.  
Read the ingredients
I always feel the need to mention that not all coconut milks are created equal so do read the ingredients list on the back of the tin. Some have as little as 40% coconut and the rest is stabilisers, gums and water. My favourite is Thai Gold, it’s an Irish company producing tins of organic Thai coconut milk, 99.65% milk with .35% guar gum. With a soup this simple it pays to start with good ingredients as no amount of cooking will elevate the quality. I often make this soup when I have a cauliflower unused at the end of the week. When buying cauliflower, choose one with crisp green leaves and no discolouration. You can tell how recently it was cut by the base. The whiter it is, the fresher it is.
(Serves six)
1 cauliflower
1 onion
2-inch piece fresh ginger
400g tin full-fat coconut milk
400ml stock or water
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the outer leaves and chop the cauliflower into bite-size florets. Place on a large baking tray. Peel and quarter the onion. Place on the tray with the cauliflower. Drizzle everything with 1-2 tbsp olive oil and roast till tender when pierced with a fork and just browning at the edges, about 15 minutes. In batches, blitz the roast vegetables with the ginger and coconut milk till silky smooth. This is best done in a blender for a creamy result. Or use a Nutribullet. Pour the thick mixture into a saucepan and add the stock. Heat gently and add salt to taste before serving. The Irish Times