By Contributing Editor, Holland Koehler
Pureed soups are a favorite because the recipe leaves a lot of room for adaptation. You can simmer vegetables and broth, puree until smooth and top with any fresh herbs, drizzle with seasoned oils or add a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. Also soups taste even better a day or two later and freeze well.
In this recipe for a lemony carrot and cauliflower soup, lemon, miso paste and cilantro are added to take an ordinary comfort soup and kick it up a notch. Make this soup for Meatless Monday and welcome this chilly November!
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for serving
1 large white onion, peeled and diced (2 cups)
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 medium carrots (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
3 tablespoons white miso
1 small (or half of a large) head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice, more to taste
Smoky chile powder, for serving
Coarse sea salt, for serving
Cilantro leaves, for serving
In a large, dry pot over medium heat, toast coriander seeds until fragrant and dark golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and coarsely crush.
Return the pot to medium heat. Add the oil and heat until warm. Stir in onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly colored, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute.
Add carrots, crushed coriander, salt and 6 cups water to the pot. Stir in the miso until it dissolves. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. (Alternatively, you can let soup cool slightly then purée it in batches in a food processor or blender.) If necessary, return the puréed soup to the heat to warm through. Stir in the lemon zest and juice just before serving. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with chile, sea salt and cilantro leaves.