Wishing you Hugs and a Bowl of Soup – Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Chickpea Croutons

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Chickpea Croutons

I really wanted to have a witty story to share with you. Something funny. But honestly, I’m not feeling witty these days. This holiday season is a bit heavier than usual since it’s the first one without my mom. I spend a lot of time up in my own head…remembering. Not sad, per se, just more pensive.

However, while I’m not feeling witty, I am feeling grateful. I wake up every morning and am filled with gratitude for the amazing people in my life: friends, family, my hubby, my kiddos, my canine, and you — yes, you.

Last January, a friend of mine who lost her mom quite a few years ago, sent me a note in which she wrote: They do come back to you in moments. Usually I sense her in stillness like today when my house was quiet and I was taking down the tree ornaments. For me it is not a memory, but a presence or a feeling. Anyways, it brings me comfort (sometimes sadness) but it is a connection.

I’m so grateful for her words. (Thank you, my friend.) I don’t know if she could have known how much they meant to me especially recently when I was putting up the final ornaments on our Christmas tree — crystal icicles that have always been the finishing touch for my tree and my mom’s —  in the stillness of my own home.

Other friends who may or may not have lost a parent or another person they hold dear seem to sense the right moment to send a just thinking of you text, or to leave a comment here or on Facebook. Those moments of one person reaching out to another always lift my spirits and reaffirm how rich my life is because of the people in it.

One of my dearest friends has been with me not only through my mom’s illness and passing, but also through many of the challenging stages of parenting. Those stages when you have no idea if you’re even doing one thing right and you’re at a loss of what to do next.

In those moments, she reaches out to me with a big hug and then sits me at her counter and puts down in front of me — and any other dear friend who happens to be there — a warm bowl of soup: spiced pumpkin soup, vegetarian chili, curried cauliflower soup with chickpea croutons.

Sometimes we’ve talked everything over so much there’s simply nothing left to say. Her hug and bowl of soup stand in beautifully for the absence of words. She makes me feel cared for. Comforted. And again, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the people in my life.

I hope your holiday season is full of hugs and bowls of soup whether you give them to someone or someone gives them to you. So simple and yet they bring such comfort and joy. Think what the world would be like if we all brought someone into our home once a week and offered her (or him) a bowl of soup and a hug.

Much love,
Carrie

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Chickpea Croutons x2

Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpea Croutons
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Course: Soup
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As I said above, a dear friend recently made me her version of this hearty and filling soup. I loved it so much I had to share it with all of you. Yes, my version calls for using Thai Yellow Curry Paste. Don’t balk at it. This is such a fabulous condiment to have in your refrigerator. It lasts a long, long time so you can buy it once and then leave it in there for when you happen to come across any other Thai-ish recipes you want to try. Thai Red Curry Paste tends to be a bit more popular and you could probably substitute it for the yellow paste in this recipe no problem. The reason I like the yellow paste is because it’s a bit milder and not quite as spicy. I tend to have better luck introducing my family to new flavors if they are subtle and this soup was seasoned perfectly for them. They all devoured it and it was fabulous in a thermos for lunch the next day. This is also a great recipe for your holiday buffet for your guests who eat gluten-free/dairy-free/vegetarian.
Ingredients
  • For the Chickpea Croutons
  • 2 15-oz. cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • .
  • For the Roasted Cauliflower Soup
  • 1 large head cauliflower cut into florets, about 6 cups
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 teaspoons Thai yellow curry paste, or more
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. For the Chickpea Croutons
  2. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Pour them out onto a large, clean kitchen towel. Cover them with another and dry them by gently running the towel over them. The skin will come off of some of them. This is good but no need to de-skin them all. Put the chickpeas and olive oil in a large bowl. Stir to evenly coat the beans with the oil.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the spices: garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle the spices over the chickpeas and stir to coat evenly.
  5. Pour the chickpeas out onto a baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes or until the beans are golden brown and crunchy. Stir halfway through roasting.
  6. For the Roasted Cauliflower Soup
  7. Preheat your oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, stir your olive oil and cauliflower florets together coating them evenly with the oil. Pour out onto a baking sheet making sure they are in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes or until florets are tinged with a dark golden brown.
  8. While your cauliflower is roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pot. Stir in your diced onions and sauté over medium-low heat, about 8-10 minutes, or until onions are translucent and just starting to turn a golden brown. Stir in your Thai curry paste — start with two teaspoons. Once onions are coated with it, mix in your cauliflower, vegetable broth, coconut milk, and salt. Use a whisk to completely incorporate you coconut milk into the soup mixture.
  9. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste, add more curry paste if you’d like.
  10. Using an immersion blender, puree your soup into a creamy consistency.
  11. Spoon into bowls, top with chickpea croutons and enjoy!!

 

PS: Jami H. is the lucky winner of last week’s giveaway of Carrie Vitt’s The Grain-Free Family Table cookbook. Congratulations, Jami! I’ll be in touch via email.

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