By: Amadea Morningstar RPP, RPE
This lovely lemon colored soup warms digestion and the respiratory tract.
HOT CAULIFLOWER SOUP
Time: 30 minutes
Makes 2 ½ cups, serves 3
Adapted for Purifying, Health Building, & Gourmet Vegetarian
4 cups cauliflower florets (1 small cauliflower)
1 – 2 Tablespoons olive oil (for Purifying & Health Building, add at the end)
½ teaspoon ajwan seeds
2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (1 Tablespoon)
3 green onions, finely chopped (or up to 1/3 cup)
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon mineral salt (skip for Purifying)
1/8 – ¼ teaspoon Serrano chili, finely chopped (optional, less for Pitta or fiery types)
2 – 4 cups water
For all versions: Wash and break up the cauliflower into florets; soak in water while you prep the rest of the soup. Peel and finely chop the ginger. (An easy way to do this is simply scrape off the peel with a spoon.) Finely chop the green onions and serrano; set aside.
For Purifying and Health Building: In a heavy flat-bottomed stainless steel skillet, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the ginger, green onion, turmeric, cauliflower, and serrano pepper, cover and cook over medium heat until the cauliflower is tender, 10 – 15 minutes or more. Dry roast the ajwan seeds in a small iron skillet until aromatic, a few minutes, and set aside. When the cauliflower is tender, stir the ajwan into the soup. Blend the soup until smooth with a hand held immersion blender, or carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender to blend until smooth. For Purifying, skip the salt. For Health Building, salt to taste. For both, drizzle olive oil over each individual bowl of soup as you’re serving them.
For Gourmet Veggie: In a heavy flat-bottomed stainless steel skillet,
warm the oil over medium heat, add the ajwan; stir until aromatic. Stir in the ginger and green onion for about a minute, then stir in the turmeric. Scoop up the cauliflower from the water with your hands and drop it into the pot. (Jaffrey, Vegetarian India, 78) Add salt and the chopped serrano, stir, cover. Reduce heat to low, cook about ten minutes or tender enough to break apart with a fork. Add 2 cups of water, turn up the heat to medium, cover, simmer for five minutes or until gently bubbling. Carefully transfer to a blender to blend until smooth, or put the hot veggie mixture in a small deeper pot or bowl to blend it smooth with a hand held immersion blender.
Effects: calms Kapha and Vata, neutral Pitta.
This hot soup supports: digestion, the respiratory system, nerves. It is a diuretic.
Comments: Cauliflower is considered easier to digest and more sattvic than other members of the cabbage family; it is used as a cancer preventive. It combines well with dairy. (Tirtha, 136) Ajwan seeds support apana vayu and the downward flow of energy while clearing congestion in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Warming ajwan supports flow, including breast milk production, though it is not used in pregnancy or hot Pitta conditions. (Pole, 122 – 123)
Note: This satisfying lunch, dinner, or snack is a blended improvisation on Madhur jaffrey’s adaptation of the Delhi Aurobindo Ashram’s Ajwainwali Gobi in her superb Vegetarian India. The green onions and yogurt, and no garlic are from me. (FYI: while the ashram eschews red chilis, it does use green ones.)
This recipe is used with permission from Easy Healing Drinks from the Wisdom of Ayurveda. LINK BELOW I confess, there are a number of delicious soups in Easy Healing Drinks that I billed as “hot veggie smoothies” in an attempt to lure people away from cold smoothies. This was one of them, and one of my favorites. Whether you serve it in a mug or a bowl is up to you.
VARIATION for Health Building or Gourmet Vegetariain: add ¼ cup plain yogurt or more after the smoothie is blended, for extra protein, calcium, and B vitamins. This calms Vata even more, neutral Pitta and Kapha.
Photo thanks to Renee Lynn