Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Food that makes me cry and curried cauliflower soup

That title may be a bit misleading because this curried cauliflower soup did not make me cry. It was good, surprisingly so actually, since I don’t normally put a lot of stock in cauliflower. But before we talk about that, let’s go back the food that did make me cry.

It is not an unusual occurrence for food to make me cry. I’m an emotional eater; not in the binging-on-chocolate-because-I’m-depressed kind of way, but in the good-food-actually-brings-me-to-tears kind of way. I have to admit, not so modestly, that it is my own cooking that usually invokes this reaction, probably because I have so much passion for what I do and sometimes it’s just overwhelming. (Andy frequently says that he never sees me eat with such fervor as when it’s one of my own dishes that I’m very pleased with.)

Enter the simple bowl of bacon and parmesan cheesy pasta goodness.

I was having one of those days where a tiny little funk had managed to lodge itself firmly into my psyche for no good reason. Cooking an elaborate meal was not in my future, but I was craving comfort food in a bad way. I had pasta on my mind and when Andy mentioned pasta with parmesan cheese, I was sold. As what usually happens when I’m “not going to cook,” I started cooking after all.  Chopping garlic, frying bacon…it always makes me feel better. With garlic sautéing in butter and bacon grease, I was happy as a clam. And then the simple assembly of spaghetti, butter, sautéed garlic, pine nuts, bacon, parmesan cheese and basil brought me to tears. A dish that took minutes to make had me sniffling a little more with each bite, reveling in its simplicity and downright goodness until I just let loose and had a good cry over my bowl. And then all was right with the world…

…until later that night when I cried at the end of 21 Jump Street (which is a comedy). How many of you thought, “Poor Andy,” just then?

Onto the soup…

Even non-cauliflower lovers should like this soup. Roasting the cauliflower gives it depth, while the curry and apple give it a nice flavor and a hint of spice.

Roasted Curried Cauliflower Soup

Serves 6

1 large head of cauliflower (yields about 1 1/2 pounds of florets)
2 cups peeled and chopped apples
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon hot curry powder
1/2 teaspoon sweet curry powder
4 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for roasting cauliflower
1/4 cup cilantro

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the florets from the cauliflower head. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle liberally with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for about 25 minutes, turning once, until browned and tender. Remove from oven, roughly chop and reserve.

In a large pot, heat butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add apples, shallots and curry powders and stir to combine. Sauté until softened. Stir in white wine to deglaze pot and let reduce until almost no liquid remains. Add garlic and ginger and cook for about 30 more seconds. Add chopped cauliflower to apple mixture and stir in chicken broth and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer, then cover pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and add cilantro. Puree mixture with an immersion blender (or use a regular blender for a smoother soup.) If soup is too thick, add extra broth or milk. Taste for seasoning; add salt and pepper as needed. Return to heat and heat through.


  1. I've been on a real cauliflower kick lately. This soup looks fantastic!

  2. Passion can always bring tears...For a bowl of this phenomenal soup, I would cry with you (smile).


  3. I have been brought to tears by music and movies...but not food. My eyes will roll back into my head...but it will give me chills if it's really special!! Your soup looks fabulous, Karen!!

  4. I call those my blue funks and sometimes you just gotta work them through with a good cry (and bowl of pasta [which sounded suspiciously like spaghetti carbonara]). I'm glad you're feeling back to your chipper self! The cauliflower soup look amazing. I love cauliflower but always overlook it in the store for some odd reason. I must rectify that!

  5. Reading your description of that garlic sauteed in butter and bacon fat makes me want to cry too. Ok, not cry, but certainly makes me hungry :-). And the soup looks delicious as well. I have been making quite a few cauliflower dishes lately. I still have the leftover roasted cauliflower gratin in the fridge. I was never much into cauliflower, but I think I am developing a taste for it. I should try this soup too. Thank you for sharing!

  6. You are so cute, crying at your tasty food. I am not so modest about my own creations when I know they are good, but I don't think I've ever cried. Yet. Love the soup too!