Cauliflower Cashew Soup
Cauliflower cashew soup, also informally called the Everything is Going To Be Alright Soup, because that’s how I feel every time I dip a spoon into a bowl of it.
Winter has finally, finally hit L.A., and by that I mean it’s a solid sub-50 degrees each morning, and I don’t have enough layers in my possession to deal with it. I’m someone who is easily susceptible to the winter blues, so I always try to make sure I get as much activity, sunshine, and self-care as I can squeeze in each day. Cooking, no shock, is my form of therapy. And this comforting cauliflower cashew soup came right on time.
When the winter blues hit I can easily slip towards the spectrum that makes me want to shovel cookies and milkshakes into my mouth, but during this time of year I’m more conscious about my emotions around food and try to fill up on things that make me feel like sunshine.
I’ve made this soup a few times, and the reason why I keep going back to it is because of the texture. It isn’t a completely smooth, puree-like soup, but it has some chew to it thanks to the toasted chopped cashew topping. If that isn’t your cup of soup (sorry, had to do it), then you can dice all of the ingredients more finely and toss them in the food processor for a little longer for a smoother texture. Cooking is all about making food that you like and want to eat, so do what suits you!
Cauliflower Cashew Soup Tips
- Try a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio as your dry white wine
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- 4 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cored, cut into small florets, stem chopped, divided
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. cashews
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Heat ¼ cup oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add shallots, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent, 6–8 minutes.
- Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Set ¾ cup cauliflower aside; add the rest to pot along with cayenne and ¾ cup cashews; season with salt.
- Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until cauliflower is fork-tender and vegetables have released all their water, 20–25 minutes (check occasionally to make sure vegetables are not browning; reduce heat if they are).
- Add stock and season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until cauliflower is falling apart, 20–25 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, finely chop reserved ¾ cup cauliflower and remaining 2 Tbsp. cashews. Heat remaining ¼ cup oil in a small skillet over medium. Add cauliflower and cashews; season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until cauliflower and cashews are golden brown, 5–8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and paprika. Let cool slightly.
- Working in batches if needed, purée soup in a blender until very smooth. Return to pot and reheat over medium-low, stirring and adding more stock to thin if needed (soup should be the consistency of heavy cream). Taste and season soup again if needed.
- Serve soup topped with toasted cauliflower-buckwheat mixture.