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Course: Soup
Keyword: cauliflower, coconut, curry, Soup

Curry Coconut Cauliflower Soup

ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings
This dish began as spiced, broiled cauliflower steaks. We blended some of the leftovers just so that we could freeze them as a puree to thicken other dishes but when I licked the spoon it seemed destined to become a soup. There's a real depth of flavor here, and a fair amount of heat...which I like. The coconut back notes come from the use of both coconut milk and coconut water. If you need to skip the peanuts due to an allergy, you can skip them or replace with cashews. As for the topping: classically, a gremolata (of Italian origin), is composed of equal parts parsley, finely minced garlic, and finely rasped orange or lemon zest. We've adopted more curry-friendly flavors with cilantro, garlic, and lime. If you're one of those folks who just can't do cilantro, feel free to go with parsley.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 1 pound cauliflower florets (a medium head)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 knob ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 Thai bird chilis, thinly sliced
  • 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 large limes)


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (1 cup packed leaves)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated on rasp (microplane)
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest, grated on rasp (about 2 large limes)

Specialized Hardware

Mortar and pestle
rasp or microplane
5-6-quart heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven with fitted lid
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings


  • Heat the oven to 425º F and place a rack in the middle position.
  • Finely crush the cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds along with the turmeric and 1 teaspoon of the salt with a mortar and pestle. Place the cauliflower florets in a large mixing bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil, then sprinkle in the spice mixture and combine well. (If you use your hands, you may want to glove up unless you want them bright yellow for a few days.)
  • Transfer the contents of the bowl to a half sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes, tossing half-way through.
  • Place a 5-6-quart heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the remaining coconut oil and 1/4 cup of the peanuts. Cook, stirring constantly, until browned and toasty 2-3 minutes. Add the onion and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and sweat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, and Thai chilis and cook 1 more minute.
  • Boost the heat to medium-high and add the roasted cauliflower, coconut milk, and coconut water. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid, reduce to low, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the soup, a ladle at a time, into your blender's carafe. Fill the carafe no more than half full, which means you will probably need to do this in two batches, depending of course on how large your carafe is. Close the lid but remove the center feeder cap and place a folded kitchen towel over the top. This will allow some steam to escape, preventing the soup from exploding all over the kitchen. Start your blender on the lowest setting, or quickly pulse a few times, then gradually increase to high speed and blend for 1 minute.
  • Return the soup to the pot and stir in the lime juice. Keep warm on low heat until ready to serve.
  • For the gremolata: mix the cilantro, garlic, and lime zest in a small bowl and set aside.
    Serve in bowls topped with the gremolata and a sprinkling of the roasted peanuts, if desired.
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