With a population of 1.3 Billion India is the second most populous nation on the planet. It also has 5 major regions and over 2,000 distinct ethnic groups, each with their own culture and cuisine, yet even with such diversity, one (of many) spice mix is popular throughout… garam masala.
Recipes for garam masala differ from region to region but they generally contain cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, black and white peppercorns, cloves, nutmeg, bay leaves, and often chilis. The ingredients are toasted then ground together.
The major flavor ingredient for this soup is garam masala and because of its pungency we roasted, almost charred, the cauliflower and carrots in the oven to really bump up their flavor contribution to the soup, we also caramelized the onions, again to bump up their flavor. While roasting cauliflower and carrots did add rich, smoky flavors it also brought out their sweetness, so we added the mustardy tatsoi at the end to balance the sweetness of the roasted cauliflower and carrots…and because the soup is a bit spicy we made a cucumber mint yogurt raita to give our palates a bit of cool relief.
We used white cauliflower in the recipe for this post but any of the multi-color cauliflower that we grow may also be used.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes (15 min. to roast the veggies; 30 min. for the soup)
Yields: 2 qts
- 3 cups cauliflower (1 medium head or 1/2 large)
- 3 cups carrots (about 7 medium carrots)
- 2 + 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onions medium dice (1/2 inch)
- 3 tbsp garam masala powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 10 cups vegetable stock or water
- 2 cups loosely packed tatsoi
- Kosher salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 cucumber seeded, grated
- 1 cup goat milk yogurt
- Plain cow’s milk yogurt may be used but we love the contrast of the tangy goat milk yogurt with the sweetness of the roasted cauliflower and carrots in this soup.
- 1/2 cup fresh mint chopped (may also use fresh dill)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Kosher salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to broil, place oven rack on the top level.
- Wash and drain the cauliflower, remove florets and cut into large bite-size pieces (about 1 to 2 inch pieces), place onto a baking tray; set aside.
- Wash, drain, and peel the carrots, cut into large bite-size pieces (about 1 inch cubes), add to the baking tray with cauliflower; set aside.
- Peel and dice onion; set aside.
- Wash, spin dry the tatsoi, remove any discolored leaves; set aside.
- Wash the cucumber, cut off the ends, slice in half lengthwise, remove seeds (using a spoon), grate, place in the center of doubled paper towels and squeeze out as much water as possible; set aside.
- Wash and spin dry mint, remove leaves from the stem, discard any discolored leaves, finely chop; set aside.
- Add the grated cucumber, yogurt, mint, and cumin to a small to medium mixing bowl, season to taste with a pinch of kosher salt.
- Place in the fridge to chill.
Roasting the cauliflower and carrots:
- Retrieve the baking tray with the diced cauliflower and carrots, add 2 tbsp of sunflower oil, a pinch or two of kosher salt, and a couple turns of the black pepper mill (about 1/2 tsp), mix well ensuring that the veggies are coated in the oil. Place the tray in the oven preheated to broil, broil for 7 minutes, stir, broil for another 7 minutes; when well caramelized (almost charred) remove from the oven and set aside.
- Place a medium to large soup pot on the stove on medium-high, wait a couple minutes for the pot to heat up, add the remaining 1 tbsp of sunflower oil, wait another minute, add the onions, stir and cook until caramelized (about 5 minutes).
- Add the garam masala and garlic powders, stir and cook till aromatic (about 2 minutes).
- Add roasted veggies, add the vegetable stock, stir and cook for 20 minutes.
At this point, the soup is cooked and while it may be enjoyed as is we prefer to puree the soup until it is creamy!
- Ladle the soup into a high-speed blender and fill it to no more than half the height of the blender. Place the lid of the blender on securely (see Safety tip below).
- Safety tip! The soup will be hot so make sure you hold the lid of the blender down as the air in any blender with hot items especially liquid will expand rapidly.
- Blend at high speed until creamy then pour into a clean soup pot on low heat.
- Repeat until all of the original soup has been pureed.
- At this point check the finished soup for you desired consistency. If it is too thick add more veggie stock but only 1 cup at a time until you reach the consistency you like.
- Season to taste with kosher salt, black pepper, and perhaps more garam masala.
- Your spicy, and now creamy, garam masala roasted cauliflower and carrot soup is done!
- Garnish with fresh tatsoi leaves and cucumber mint yogurt raita!