Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup with Beetroot Tahini

I don't know about everyone else, but these changes of season seem to be the peak time in our household for colds, coughs and generally feeling a bit run down. While it is AMAZING to be feeling a few rays of sunshine and those couple of extra degrees of warmth, the dreaded season changing lurgies can stay away!!

In light of keeping the bugs away I decided to make a soup for lunch that is so full of bug fighters that they cannot possibly get through! Enter the Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup. So tasty, and absolutely jam packed full of garlic, onion, homemade chicken stock (you can use vegetable stock for a vegetarian/vegan option), and cumin roasted cauliflower. Vampires will faint at the sight of it!

I topped it with a drizzle of beetroot tahini - love beetroot, and it's got amazing health benefits as well.

This does take a little bit of prep, but it's well worth the effort. And, to be honest, if you do the prep at other times (ie when you are already in the kitchen and have the oven on) you can have all of the ingredients in the fridge and the actual putting it together takes very little time. For example, I roasted the garlic a couple of days beforehand when I was cooking dinner one night, then roasted the cauliflower the night before when we were having cauliflower for dinner (just made extra, and then popped the spices and on and popped it in the oven while we were eating dinner).

To be fair, it is actually a little unlike me plan ahead that much, but it was worth the effort!!

This ain't the prettiest dish (or the best plating!) but the flavours are SO good!

Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup and Beetroot Tahini

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free

1 head cauliflower, cut into rough florets
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp coconut oil
4 heads of garlic
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
1 tbsp dried or fresh thyme
1 cup coconut milk (optional)

1 beetroot
1/4 cup tahini
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
2-4 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tsp cumin

1. Wrap the garlic in foil and bake at 180C for around 60-90 minutes until soft and squishy. Squeeze the gooey flesh out of the garlic, and set aside. (you can make this step ahead of time).
2. In a pot of simmering water, cook the cauliflower until softened. Drain the water and add the coconut oil,  salt and cumin. mix well to ensure oil and cumin are evenly distributed over the cauliflower. 
3. Roast the cauliflower at 180C for around 20-30 minutes until golden. (again, you can prepare this ahead of time and keep in the fridge until ready to use)
4. Now that you have the prep work done, in a large saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp oil and add onion. Saute the onion until starting to caramelise. This will take around 15 minutes or so, and be sure to watch it to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. If this looks like it's happening, add a little of the stock, or a few tbsp of water to loosen it up. 
5. When the onion is cooked, add the stock, cauliflower, and garlic. Simmer for about 10-15  minutes until all ingredients are well cooked. Remove from heat.
6. Add the coconut milk (if you're using it - it makes a thinner soup which is delicious. I didn't add it this time hence why the soup is quite thick, but it really makes the soup gorgeous and creamy)
7. Blend with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth and silky.
8. Top with a few dollops of beetroot tahini and drizzle with coconut milk. You could add some finely chopped parsley as a finishing touch - yummy plus it would make it look pretty!

To make the beetroot tahini:
1. Wrap the beetroot in foil and bake at 180C for around 45 minutes until soft.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Season to suit tastes.