We are in soup heaven with this spiced cauliflower and lentil soup. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to comfort and flavour. Packed full of super power spices, followed by delicious roasted cauliflower and blitzed with creamy lentils to thicken.
For me cauliflower is a wonderful vegetable and although it can be quite bland, it takes on a heck of a lot of flavour, almost like a sponge. Also, when cooked right, it has its own natural flavours that come to life. My personal favourite is to roast it, which helped bring my roasted cauliflower houmous recipe to life. It also compliments dishes such as mac and cheese, thanks to its subtle nuttiness, hence why cauliflower cheese is a Sunday classic.
Check out our cajun cauliflower macaroni cheese for more Cauliflower inspiration.
The right spice blend is important as you don’t want to much, yet too little won’t have the right impact. Balancing is key and brings out the best in any dish when it comes to spice. I wanted this soup to be fragrant, yet earthy. Star anise, clove and cinnamon give it a wonderful medicinal flavour, which balances the spicy earthiness of the mustard seeds and turmeric. Just adding a few of these spices can bring so much flavour to any dish.
Finally this soup all comes together with the wonderful super food that is lentils. Well, red lentils work best for this particular recipe with their nutty, sweet flavour. Also their subtle red colour keeps the soup looking warm and hearty. When cooked, they naturally thicken the soup, adding a lovely smooth consistency to this spiced cauliflower and red lentil soup.
SPICED CAULIFLOWER AND RED LENTIL SOUP
- A hand blender.
- 400 g cauliflower roughly cut into florets
- 150 g red lentils washed thoroughly
- 1 large onion roughly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic Roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 cloves
- 2 star anise
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1.2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 400 ml tin of coconut milk
- 1 juice of a lemon
- 1 L water
- 20 g fresh coriander to serve Roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp Yogurt per serving
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C/400°F.
- Add the cauliflower to a baking tray and mix with ground turmeric, coriander, cinnamon with about a tablespoon of oil and roast for 15, to 20 minutes until it starts to colour and becomes slightly soft.
- In a deep saucepan on a medium to low hear, gently fry the onion with another tablespoon of oil until slightly soft and then add the garlic, star anise, cloves and mustard seeds. Turn the heat up slightly and cook until slightly coloured and the mustard seeds start to pop.
- Add the lentils in and stir around the pan, coating them in all of the flavours. Add the water in and bring to the boil.
- When the cauliflower is ready, carefully add to the water and stir in well. Ladle some of the water onto the baking tray to get any extra flavours stuck to the tray and then add back into the pan.
- Simmer for around 20 to 30 minutes and then blitz until a smooth consistency and serve with fresh coriander and yoghurt.