“Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works” (Heb 10:24) BXVI: The Lenten season offers us once again an opportunity to reflect upon the very heart of Christian life: charity
#Lent #Pope2You - From the Pope's daily twitter updates during Lent
Sometimes an idea will come and settle in my head. Then it's like everything around me conspires to make me put that idea into action. That idea for some time now was earth shattering. Life changing. Actually it was just...cumin roasted cauliflower soup.
See, I discovered the joy of roasted veggies only after moving here with a large, lovely oven at my disposal. As a kid I wouldn't eat cauliflower unless it was crispy fried like in Gobi Manchurian a delectable but greasy Indo- Chinese dish. Since then I have grown to appreciate my veggies, but even more so after I discovered roasting them. Baked sweet potato "fries", broiled sweet bell peppers, smoky roasted eggplant and best of all, cumin roasted cauliflower bliss.
So while I have been routinely roasting my cauliflower sprinkled with a little cumin, pepper and salt and enjoying delicious cauliflower chips for some time now, one day I just had the idea to make them into soup.
Since that day I kept hearing cauliflower everywhere- the women at the table next to ours at a restaurant kept raving about the cauliflower soup they were having and which I then wished I had ordered. Then some good friends blogged about it or mentioned making it and by then I was longing/craving cauliflower soup and just had to make it!
There are lots of cauliflower soups out there. A friend recently made one that was light, refreshing and delicious and I'm looking forward to her recipe and hope to try it soon too.
This one is hearty, thick and robustly flavorful and very filling. Soup never makes me feel full. But this one does. And its healthy and yummy to boot.
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent for us Christians. It is a period of penance, abstinence and sacrifice, remembering the pain and suffering of Jesus Christ, Who we believe died painfully on the Cross to atone for all our sins. This period of around 40 days leads up to Easter which celebrates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and reminds us that we too must strive not for the fleeting pleasures of this life but of eternal life in Heaven.
During Lent we are called to pause and reflect on our own lives and turn away from sin. We are to do charitable acts and to observe fasts as a simple exercise of "showing our passions who is boss" and knowing that we can control our desires if we want. Even if our desires in themselves may not be sinful, indulging every one of them could be dangerous, making us more likely to give in to sin so we practice a little self restraint during this time.
Some people give up meat and alcohol or something else they really like during this time. There was a little girl who gave up the colour pink, her absolute favorite :) People find really creative ways to make their Lenten sacrifices like this girl I read about who is giving up fashion for a cause. In support of those giving up meat for Lent I plan to post several more healthy vegetarian dinner ideas in the coming month like this soup.
For me eating only veggies is quite a treat and not really a sacrifice so I will have to find something unpleasant but good for me to do. Any ideas? maybe giving up sweets or undertaking a major kitchen and paperwork re-organisation effort. Or I might have to take up some form of exercise especially after the two year old bumped his head against my tummy today and then kept saying "bouncy-bouncy!"
You don't have to be Christian to participate in Lent. A little self restraint once in a while is good for everyone. But I must admit -this soup with some flaky onion biscuits for dinner? Not very sacrificial at all!
Cumin Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Recipe loosely based on one here
To roast the cauliflower:
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets or chunks.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-5 cloves of garlic unpeeled
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot diced fine
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or cornstarch
- 3 cups water
- 1 chicken/beef/veg soup cube ( Or you can use stock instead of the water and soup cubes)
- 1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Chop the cauliflower into thick slices or break into florets. Reserve the small bits since they might burn and charr while being roasted.
Place the cauliflower chunks/ florets in a small roasting pan. Drizzle with oil and season with cumin, salt, and pepper, tossing it well with your fingers to coat.
Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven stirring every 10 minutes until golden brown and tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
(The roasted cauliflower is very delicious and you may be tempted to eat the entire batch in one sitting)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and stir it until it is lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the diced carrots and the reserved bits of cauliflower stir and cover for about 10 mins
Dissolve the flour/corn starch in a little water, mixing well so that it is not lumpy.
Slowly pour the chicken broth/ water and soup cubes and milk into the pan along with the corn starch in water.
Bring to a boil while stirring continuously until the soup thickens, then reduce heat to low.
Stir in the roasted cauliflower.
Serve as is, or blend half and recombine with the rest of the soup for a thicker consistency.
I pureed the whole thing because I wanted it nice and creamy.
If you have an immersion blender you can do this in the soup pot itself.
Sprinkle with some chilli flakes for colour and heat and serve with croutons, biscuits or bread for dipping.
I crumbled these really easy to make flaky and tender onion biscuits over my bowl
Note this soup is really thick. If you like your soup a little thinner, you can simmer it for a little while with some more stock, milk or even just some more water mixed in.
For more healthy vegetarian recipes click here