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Cauliflower, Garlic and Turmeric Soup

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Introduction

Packed full of vegetables and phytonutrients, it is undeniably true that this soup is both soothing and bolstering as well as easy and gratifying to eat. Baking the garlic gives a lot of depth while taking away any potential for bitter heat; strangely, the turmeric seems to assuage, if not remove, the school corridors smell of the cooking cauliflower. And the colour, an almost acid gold, is glorious.

Written for The Royal Marsden Cancer Cookbook, published by Kyle Books. Photography by Georgia Glynn-Smith.

Packed full of vegetables and phytonutrients, it is undeniably true that this soup is both soothing and bolstering as well as easy and gratifying to eat. Baking the garlic gives a lot of depth while taking away any potential for bitter heat; strangely, the turmeric seems to assuage, if not remove, the school corridors smell of the cooking cauliflower. And the colour, an almost acid gold, is glorious.

Written for The Royal Marsden Cancer Cookbook, published by Kyle Books. Photography by Georgia Glynn-Smith.

Image of Nigella's Cauliflower, Garlic and Turmeric Soup
Photo by Georgia Glynn-Smith

Ingredients

Serves: 4

Metric Cups
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 cauliflower (broken into florets)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large potato (peeled and diced)
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock (Marigold bouillon powder or cube is fine)
  • fresh parsley or coriander/cilantro, to serve
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 cauliflower (broken into florets)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large potato (peeled and diced)
  • 4 cups hot vegetable broth (Marigold bouillon powder or cube is fine)
  • fresh parsley or coriander/cilantro, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Cut the top off the head of the garlic so that you can just see the tops of the cloves. Sit the garlic on a generous square of aluminium foil (shiny-side up) and drizzle a small amount of the olive oil over. Pull up the edges of the foil to form a tightly wrapped but baggy parcel and put in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a little while you get on with the soup.
  2. Pour the rest of the oil into a wide saucepan and fry the onion gently for 10 minutes or so until softened but not browning. Add the cauliflower florets and turn in the oily onion. Add the turmeric and keep stirring, then stir in the potato. Cover and cook over a low to medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Squeeze in the pulpy, sweet, baked garlic cloves (just squish the head straight into the saucepan) and then add the stock/broth. Bring to the boil, lower the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for a further 15 minutes or so. Purée in a foodprocessor or blender or, if you like a soup with more texture, just stick a handheld blender in the pan or bash about with an old-fashioned potato masher.
  4. Add freshly chopped parsley or coriander/cilantro to the bowls as you eat.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Cut the top off the head of the garlic so that you can just see the tops of the cloves. Sit the garlic on a generous square of aluminium foil (shiny-side up) and drizzle a small amount of the olive oil over. Pull up the edges of the foil to form a tightly wrapped but baggy parcel and put in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a little while you get on with the soup.
  2. Pour the rest of the oil into a wide saucepan and fry the onion gently for 10 minutes or so until softened but not browning. Add the cauliflower florets and turn in the oily onion. Add the turmeric and keep stirring, then stir in the potato. Cover and cook over a low to medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Squeeze in the pulpy, sweet, baked garlic cloves (just squish the head straight into the saucepan) and then add the stock/broth. Bring to the boil, lower the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for a further 15 minutes or so. Purée in a foodprocessor or blender or, if you like a soup with more texture, just stick a handheld blender in the pan or bash about with an old-fashioned potato masher.
  4. Add freshly chopped parsley or coriander/cilantro to the bowls as you eat.

Additional Information

• Boost the protein and energy of this soup by adding a blob of crème fraiche or sour cream, and grated cheese just as you serve.
• Alternatively, eat with a light meal of bread and a selection of cold meats or cheeses, or hummus.

• Boost the protein and energy of this soup by adding a blob of crème fraiche or sour cream, and grated cheese just as you serve.
• Alternatively, eat with a light meal of bread and a selection of cold meats or cheeses, or hummus.

Tell us what you think

What 4 Others have said

  • This turned out delicious. I followed the hints of others and roasted the whole cauliflower covered in oil, herbs and spices, also doubled amount of garlic. Along with turmeric I added ground coriander & Moroccan seasoning. This worked out an economical soup as caulis are abundant and very cheap. An easy soup that I will definitely be making again.

    Posted by germania on 25th May 2019
  • This soup is absolutely delicious! It is super creamy when pureed. The roasted garlic adds such an incredible subtle flavor. I followed the recipe exactly, but chose to add a half tsp each of cumin, coriander and za'atar when adding the turmeric. It was amazing, and so satisfying on a winters day! Highly recommended! Thank you Nigella for such a wonderful (and vegan) recipe! This is definitely my new favourite soup!

    Posted by SpicyVegan on 4th May 2019
  • Just made it and roasted the cauliflower to give a deeper flavour. It was okay, though I added some curry powder to give it more flavour.

    Posted by TraceyC73 on 27th April 2019
  • I made the cauliflower, garlic, turmeric soup yesterday. While baking the garlic I sliced the cauliflower, potato and onion and added them to the pan with the garlic, roasting them all together, then continues with the recipe. It was the best cauliflower soup ever. Thanks for the recipe.

    Posted by Mamahawk50 on 5th January 2017
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