Monday, February 06, 2017

Velvety Cauliflower Soup

Cough and cold viruses seem to have taken over our community for the last week or so; everyone in our family has had their share of runny noses and mild fevers and disrupted routines. I've been making pretty simple everyday meals to keep us going, and soup is often on the menu- this cauliflower soup has been a particular favorite lately.

Many years ago, I posted this spicy cauliflower soup recipe from Alice Waters. These days, I am making and loving this version that is much more plain and not spicy; when blended smoothly, I swear it tastes like liquid velvet!

1. Heat oil or butter in a large pot.
2. Saute a diced onion and plenty of garlic.
3. Add 3 tablespoons or so nutritional yeast (or a couple tablespoons all-purpose flour, or some combination of flour and nutritional yeast).
4. Add in a head of cauliflower, roughly chopped.
5. Season with salt and pepper and stir around for a couple of minutes.
6. Add a couple of cups of water or vegetable stock, cover the pot and simmer until the cauliflower is tender.
7. Blend the soup to a velvety smooth texture, adding some milk/ cream/ grated cheese/ cream cheese if desired. I add some of these ingredients variously depending on what I have on hand and depending on what I am serving with the soup.

Last week I made a thicker version of this soup and served it as an alfredo sauce with pasta shells- it was a hit!

Just this evening I made a similar soup with broccoli, with a little carrot sauteed along with the onions, and with some cream cheese blended in- the result is just like the broccoli cheese soup so beloved in restaurants.

Sugar-Free February continues to go well. Over the weekend, I took Lila to a little neighbor's donut themed birthday party- there were boxes and boxes of frosted donuts of every kind- but I managed to keep on walking right past the table, and enjoyed some black coffee and fresh fruit instead.

At work, there seems to be a plate of muffins or brownies or leftover donuts from some meeting in the kitchen area every other day or so, and instead of automatically reaching for a stale muffin just because it is there (and regretting it 5 minutes later), it is actually a relief to walk away.

How is your week coming along? What's the best thing you cooked or ate this week? 

19 comments:

  1. I made the energy ladoos from your blog - toasted oats threw in all the nuts and dried fruit and some ghee, blitzed & then ladooed - to take with me on the ski slopes and promptly left it behind. It was very hard but once the twisting hunger pangs left, I was absolutely fine. Though I still cannot believe how I said no the pancakes with vanilla sugar that I was offered. I am ready to be sainted.

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    1. You are hereby sainted ;) Hope you ate those ladoos once you got back from the ski slopes!!

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  2. I've tried a few cauli soups - not quite as simple but they do make lovely smooth soups. It is great comfort food - hope it helps your sniffles!

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    1. Thanks Johanna- I have a lingering cough- lack of sleep makes it hard to recover from the sniffles!

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  3. My sugar free start went right out of the window from Day 2. Everyone is done with super bad colds, and there is only so much energy in me to deal with two cranky and clingy toddlers. But I've decided it's only a hiccup for the month, and will get right back once they are okay. It won't be an entire month, but something is better than nothing. - Neha

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    1. Neha- So true, when the little ones have colds, it is misery all around. Especially when they can't even blow their little noses. Hang in there and do what you gotta do! Hope they are better now.

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  4. loved, loved the idea of your thicker version as an Alfredo sauce. Sure plan to try that this week asap and serve it over macaroni style shells made out of chickpea flour(I've switched to gluten free meals and so this is one of my options).

    Hubby has begun cooking for family with a ton of gusto and yesterday he made us this simple meal with toi(you might be familiar with it being Maharashtrian yourself. One of my all time favorite dal preparations)rice, fried fish Goan style and a kabocha squash stir fry with fresh grated coconut and tamarind. Pretty yummy for a fairly new to cooking Dude I thought to myself:-) In self interest we've majorly praised him so he may continue to bestow his cooking talents on us.

    And if you can pass up warm donuts you are a warrior no less my dear!

    Deepa

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    1. Deepa- I do love toi, one of my grandmothers was Konkani so this was a regular dal growing up. The kabocha squash sounds outrageously good- coconut and tamarind. Mmm. Go Cooking Dude ;)

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  5. Hi Nupur, hope all is well at your end. Hows the no sugar month going? Surprisingly i am doing quite ok though not completely off sugar in all forms. but apart from Valentine day indulgence (pastry), i have not had any cakes, cookies, soft drinks, biscuits etc. Havent been off bread completely though. but overall i feel quite good about this and i think i can continue even further with less sugar.

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    1. Oh Kejal- I did OK for the most part but caved in and ate cookies on day 25! Sigh :) But overall I felt really good about it and I know I will be eating less sugar going ahead so in that sense it was a success. You did GREAT :)

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  6. Nupur! Made both your jam jar dressing (in an empty jam jar that was crying to be used) and the original cauliflower soup you linked here. SO good!

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    1. Nisha- I am so glad both recipes worked for you! Thanks for trying them :)

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  7. The (mostly) sugar-free month is done, Nupur. The update from my end is this, at the beginning it was hard not to have that bite of biscuit or an innocent square of chocolate but gradually it became natural. It became easier when I told myself that it was okay if I did have something sugary. A dear friend had made fruit crumble for me and how could I say no? So I had a portion of it. Her son had made a pancake with my initial on it? Again, it was sentiment over some flimsy principle. So I ate it.

    That apart, I made mysore pak with jaggery for our wedding anniversary and had a couple of squares. But no other biscuit or cake or jam or sugar (to my knowledge) or even honey made it to my mouth. It has been a good exercise and made me much more mindful of what I was eating. Thank you, Nupur!

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    1. Ammani- it was pretty much the same for me. I became quite a bit more mindful about not just eating something because it was sitting there. But if I feel like I will enjoy it, then I eat it a small portion with perfect enjoyment. Thanks for playing along :) I really enjoyed hearing from you.

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    2. Another update, Nupur. So, to mark the end of the month, I ate kheer made with jaggery and coconut milk and almond slivers. Because it was that good, I ate a portion each for breakfast and dinner. And it knocked me out cold. I was overwhelmed with fatigue of the sort I had never experienced before. I was barely able to string a sentence together. I gave the kids some money to get pizza for dinner and dragged myself to bed at 8. Pseudo science perhaps but I suspect the injection of sugar in such volumes into the diet had something to do with it. It was not nice at all.

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  8. Hello Nupur, first of all I want to thank you for your blog. Your sugar free challenge for February was very inspiring and I took it up too. I have been trying to go sugar free for quite some time, specially after I was diagnosed with prediabetes. I tried to go sugar free, grain free and also fruit free at the beginning about two yesrs ago but could do so only for two weeks. I could do sugar free for a longer period of time but then my blood test result became better and I became relaxed to some extent. I started tasting sweet goods which can be dangerous and addictive. So when I read about your February challenge, it was just the right thing for me. I almost did it without fail, but at the end had fallen again to some tasting of birthday cake of son and some other sweets. My mother in law is diabetic for a long time and she follows this diet without fail since the beginning. She also eats only kiwi fruit for her fruit and may be one or two slices of apple and orange, that too very recently as Inida docotr has permitted her to do so. She lives with us here in USA for six months and I do all cooking and grocery shopping for her keeping in mind her dietary needs. She also does not eat any vegetable that grows underneath soil except for carrot. I don't think I will be able to maintain such severy diet though. How did your challenge go and are you continuing to follow this in March? Thank you so much.

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    1. Hi Amita! My challenge went pretty well, I did start eating some cookies towards the end of the month, so yes, there are certainly struggles with temptations. But the fact is that it has changed my habits and going forward in March and beyond- my goal is to pause and think before I reach out for a sweet treat, eat them only on occasion and only a moderate portion.

      You are so right that any diet that feels severe is unlikely to last. I am trying to figure out what I can eat that feels nourishing and satisfying while also working with my dietary needs (ie, my tendency towards poor blood sugar control).

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  9. Is there any particular brand of nutritional yeast you recommend ?

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    1. I buy it from the bulk bin in the local "health" supermarket- so no particular brand.

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