, , ,


With cauliflower on sale (a rare occurrence in my part of the world), I wasted no time in scooping up two heads with the idea of making two soups. One conjured by this home chef and, for comparison, a recipe from a pro.

I know I am in culinary trouble when my mantra of  “when all else fails, add cilantro”, comes into play. That was the case when my version was ready for consumption.

I’ve included my recipe in today’s post because:
1) the Hubby loved it
2) it grew on me as the week wore on
3) it forces you to scroll through my rendition before getting to the indubitably divine one – the pro’s recipe…the Jerk!

serves 6-10

Q’s Spicy Cauliflower Soup

1/2 cup pearl barley, soaked overnight
1/2 cup yellow split peas, soaked overnight
1/2 tsp coriander seeds. roasted
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, roasted
1/2 -1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger root, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp hot curry powder
2 green chili peppers, diced – seeds optional
2 apples, diced (I used Cortland)
3 carrots, julienned
6+ cups vegetable broth
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
red pepper flakes, dash
1 cup coconut milk
sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste
1 tbsp coconut vinegar, optional
cilantro, garnish

Soak barley and peas overnight. Roast coriander and cumin in a small skillet for 1-2 minutes until they become aromatic, stirring frequently. Heat stockpot on high, add coconut oil, onions and garlic. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until onions become tender, about 5 minutes. Add coriander and cumin, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, curry and chili peppers. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Add split peas, apples and carrots. Cook for 2 minutes. Add vegetable broth, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and let simmer for 1 hour. Add barley, cauliflower, red pepper flakes, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Cook until cauliflower and split peas become tender, about 15 – 20 minutes. Add additional vegetable broth if needed. Heat through. Add coconut vinegar. Pour into bowls and garnish with plenty of cilantro!
Note: A substitute of red lentils can be made for the yellow split peas.

And, now for the show stopper…


Note: When I first perused this recipe from Food and Wine magazine, I thought it was a soup. After another look, I realized it was not that type of dish but rather a mix of brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and chickpeas in a jerk spice. Pulling a Robin Thicke/Pharrell Williams Blurred Lines kind of thingy, I added a few extra ingredients to transform it into a soup. To which, I am sure you would agree, what was probably the contributing factor to its great taste….haha!

You won’t be disappointed with this beauty!

serves 6-10

Jerk Spiced Cauliflower Soup

1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 habanero chile, seeded and diced
8 ozs dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 pound small brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
sea salt, to taste
AND (my ingredients):
1/2 cup pearl barley, soaked overnight
1 onion, diced
2 bunches scallions
– 1 bunch, diced, added to soup
– 1 bunch, diced, for garnish
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
6+ cups vegetable broth

Cook chickpeas until tender, about 1 hour. Set aside.
Combine allspice, coriander, peppercorns and cloves. Roast in a small skillet for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Stir often as they roast.
Remove from heat and grind. Add thyme, ginger and nutmeg. Grind until all spices are mixed. A few seconds. Set jerk spice aside.
Heat the oven to 425°.
In a large bowl, mix cauliflower, brussels sprouts, 1 tsp jerk spice and diced habanero.
Spread evenly on coated (coconut oil, spray or parchment paper) baking sheet.
Cook for 20 – 30 minutes. Watch for browning of the brussels sprouts. Take care not to burn. Let cool.
Heat a stockpot on high. Add onion, scallions and garlic, reduce heat to low. Cook, continuously stirring, for 5 minutes or until onions are tender. (The bottom of the pot crusted a bit with the mixture but that was okay, it removed easily once the other ingredients were added).
Add chickpeas. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add cauliflower/brussels sprouts mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (including the pearl barley soaked water)
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until pearl barley is tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Do you have a favorite cauliflower dish?   Please leave a comment…