Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Soup

posted in: Main Dishes, Recipes, Soup-Stew | 2
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Here is a tasty something that I made with the masala paste from my last recipe post. Roasting the cauliflower adds a depth of flavor that makes it seem like you spent hours making the soup, but once the masala paste is made, the soup comes together in a snap; most of the time is spend waiting for the cauliflower to roast and the lentils to become tender.  (If you don’t want to make a big batch of masala paste, I’ve included instructions for making just enough for this recipe at the end.)
Roasted cauli sort of looks like burned popcorn. It tastes much better, though!
Roasted Cauliflower and Red Lentil Soup
1 large cauliflower, about 2-1/4 pounds
2-1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 stalk celery, diced small
1 carrot, diced small
1/3 cup All-Purpose Masala Paste (see note below)
1/3 cup red lentils
5 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
Chopped cilantro and roasted cashews for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 F and oil a large baking pan. Cut cauliflower into pieces small enough to fit on a spoon. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes until cauliflower is just starting to brown.
Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a large pot. Sauté celery and carrot until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in masala paste and heat through.  Add lentils, vegetable broth, and bay leaf. Bring to a low boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. As soon as you take the roasted cauliflower out of the oven, add it to the soup.
Transfer a couple of cups of soup to a blender and puree until creamy; leave the center of the lid off and cover with a dish towel to prevent the steam from pushing the lid off as you blend. Add the pureed soup back to the pot and stir. You can also use a stick blender to partially blend the soup. Add more salt if desired.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro and cashews.
Serves about 5.
Note: if you don’t have masala paste already made, you’ll need:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 inch piece ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Heat the canola oil in a pot. Sauté the onion for 5 minutes until tender. Add the carrot and celery from above (without adding extra oil) and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, and jalapeños and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cumin seeds, salt, garam masala, cayenne, and cilantro and cook for a minute. Proceed with the rest of the soup recipe.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Claire, Lovely colourful soup, mouthwatering you may like to enter it in The Monthly Mingle hosted this month by Jeanne of cooksister.com
    Have a look. ‘The Taste of Yellow’ Mingle is a Tribute to Barbara Harris from winos and foodies fame.
    Barbara lost her battle with Cancer this month and
    the blogging community is getting together to remember her. The more the merrier

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