This is a sensuous soup with earthy flavors that hit all the right spots. Tamarind lends a sweet n’ sour finish to the puréed caramelized cauliflower and pomegranate gives a bright pop with toasted pistachio to make each spoonful interesting. Easy to make, beautiful, delicious, and slightly different from the norm …
- 4 heads cauliflower
- 4 garlic cloves, whole
- 5 shallots, sliced 1/4-inch
- 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground toasted cumin seed (or more to taste)
- 2 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup tamarind purée
- Pomegranate seeds & pistachio to garnish
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Cut cauliflower into 1-inch flowerets. On a large baking sheet toss cauliflower, garlic, and shallots with olive oil to coat, season with kosher salt, and roast in middle of oven about 20 minutes, tossing vegetables once, until golden brown on all sides.
In a 4-quart kettle simmer broth, water, roasted cauliflower mixture, and herbs for 10 minutes, or until cauliflower is very tender. Discard bay leaf and in a blender puree soup in batches adding just enough of the stock to make a nice purée consistency. (You can always add more liquid, but it's very hard to remove it if you add too much). Stir in tamarind. Add extra if you like the flavor more puckery.
Ladle soup and add a small dollop of crème fraîche to garnish, a few pomegranate seeds, and some crushed roasted pistachios
Note: there is no cream added to the purée, the crème fraîche is added on top at the end.
Note: to make tamarind from the seed pod, remove the outer ‘skin’ and simmer the pod in enough water to cover until the pulp is soft. Strain and remove seeds.