The Daily Spud

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Spud Sunday: Soup For Thought

Hungry?

I hope so, because I’ve made some soup and it’s got your name written all over it.

In fact there’s enough to feed, oh, you and maybe 4 or 5 friends. And several people in Africa too.

Curried Potato and Cauliflower Soup

Soup for a good cause

The Overseas Development Agency Gorta contacted me about their SoupForLife campaign, as part of which they are asking people here to gather ’round for a bowl or mug of soup on the 14th of May and make a small donation to their work fighting hunger and malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa.
If you don’t want to make the soup yourself, a growing number of restaurants are participating by donating €1 for each bowl of soup purchased on that day (with more information available on that over at the SoupForLife blog).

But why soup?

During that most famous of periods in our history, when the entire country went hungry for lack of potatoes during The Great Famine, it was soup kitchens that fed a great number of the starving, simple as that.

Now, if you want to participate in the whole SoupForLife thing, there’s really no need to emulate famine-era soups. For one thing, it would imply a distinct lack of potatoes, which would put me right out of a soup-making job. No, it’s perfectly ok to fire away with the curried potato and cauliflower soup below or, if not that then perhaps some classic potato and leek soup or maybe some potato and lentil soup like so or like so. Alternatively, there’s Galician potato and bean soup or creamy potato, salmon and cream cheese chowder for you to try. If (gasp!) you’d like a soup that’s not quite so potato-heavy, then there are soups hereabouts made from carrot and ginger, pea and mint and tomato and black beans. And failing that, there’s always minestrone or good old Ukrainian borscht. So you really have no excuses. Go on, get your soup on.

Curried Potato And Cauliflower Soup

Call it soup, call it curry. It can be either or both. Despite the long-ish list of spices, it’s really quite gently spiced. And as with many of its curry-style brethren, I think that this may possibly taste better the next day.

You’ll need:
  • olive or other vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, about 400g
  • One small head of cauliflower, about 350g when leaves and stalk removed
  • 1 medium-sized onion, around 150g, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tblsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 small fresh green chili, very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • 0.25 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1x400g tin tomatoes
  • 1x400g tin coconut milk
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 tblsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp garam masala
To garnish:
  • 50g cashew nuts, roasted and chopped roughly
  • 3-4 tblsp chopped fresh coriander
You’ll also need:
  • A food processor or blender if you want a puréed soup – an immersion blender is handiest.
The Steps:
  • If you have raw cashew nuts and need to roast them, then preheat your oven to about 150C, spread the nuts on a baking tray and roast for around 10 minutes or until they have browned lightly.
  • Scrub the potatoes and, leaving the skin on, chop into approx 1cm cubes. Wash the cauliflower and break into small florets.
  • Place a large, heavy saucepan over a medium heat, add enough oil to coat the pan. When hot, add the onions and garlic. Stir and fry for around 4 minutes, until softened but not browned.
  • Add the ginger and green chili and stir and fry for about a minute more.
  • Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and cardamom, stir briefly, then add the potatoes, tinned tomatoes, coconut milk, salt, sugar and lime juice. Stir to mix, then bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the cauliflower florets and, if necessary, a small amount of water so that the cauliflower is almost covered with liquid, bring back to the boil and simmer for another 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in the garam masala and cook for a couple of minutes more.
  • You can serve as is, as a curry or chunky soup or blend it, using a food processor or blender – it’ll be very thick, so thin it out to your desired consistency with additional boiling water.
  • Serve topped with chopped, roasted cashews and chopped fresh coriander and along with warm breads.
The Variations:
  • If you’re keeping this chunky, curry style, you could certainly throw in some other veg, like fresh or frozen peas or some french beans, towards the end of cooking.
The Results:
  • Hearty, dinner-sized portions for 4, smaller portions for around 6

19 Comments

  1. Oh, this is so lovely! Vegan, full of veg, perfect for spring. YUM.

  2. This looks delicious, and wouldn’t you know, I just happen to have a head of cauliflower sitting in my fridge. Can’t wait to test it out! Made soup for lunch today so probably not this evening though…

    Thanks for the heads up on Gorta’s Soup for Life campaign – a couple of the places were near where I’m in college so I’ll try and bring a few people along!

  3. I had just eaten, but i can make room for some soup. It’s definitely an any occasion, any season type of meal. Plus, really easy to make and feed many. :) Yum!!

  4. Daily Spud

    Monday, May 3, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Haley: Hey there, nice to hear from you – glad you liked the look of the soup :)

    Aisling: there’s always tomorrow for soup – and May 14th too, of course – looks like some good eateries joining in on SoupForLife, so hopefully you’ll get some good soup on the day too

    jenn: absolutely, couldn’t agree with you more – soup is good anytime!

    Sarah: thank you :)

  5. Wow, this looks delicious, and fits within my current (hopefully very temporary) dietary restrictions. I think I’ll be trying this soon!

  6. Mmm…. This sounds so tasty!

    I love the photo; all the garnishes look so perfect!

  7. What a gorgeous vibrant-colored soup for a great cause! I like to use cashews in my curries too, but I ground them and stir them in for some thickening power.

  8. I knew there were many reasons that soup was good food! (Do they have that commercial in Ireland??) GREG

  9. These soups look so delicious. I might have a soup party JUST to try some of these out

  10. A great connection they’ve with the soup and fundraising efforts. Wow, you have given us so many great soup recipes here. I’m booking marking this page and I think I’ll start with this beautiful potato cauliflower bowl.

  11. Looks absolutely delicious – love the cashews on top. I’ve had to cut dairy out of my diet for the next few weeks so a soup like this is perfect! Very neat idea – the soup for life… maybe next year we can get some London restaurants to participate?

  12. Love the idea of this soup!! I may make mine extra spicy though cause that’s how I roll!

  13. Daily Spud

    Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Jessica: Hey there, long time no hear – hope you’re well! This soup does accommodate a lot of dietary restrictions, so hopefully it’ll work well for you.

    Kaitlin: hi there, thanks for dropping in – I think I could love this soup for the cashew nut garnish alone :)

    Phyllis: Love me some cashews! I think you could certainly grind some up and add them to the soup that way too.

    sippitysup: alas, no, we don’t have that commercial here, but I get the picture :)

    Matoay: go for it!

    Lori: it’s a good one to start with :)

    gastroanthropologist: it is a great idea – maybe it’ll catch on!

    Biz: Hello there and welcome! Extra spicy is good – roll with it whatever way you like :)

  14. Hello my friend!

    What a tasty & surely colourful flavoured soup!!

    Oooh,..;yes! I so love this! Yummm,…

  15. Daily Spud

    Friday, May 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Hello there Sophie – glad that you (the soup-making queen!) liked this :)

  16. I grew up poor, so I always associated soup with ‘hunger’. At times we ate broth from a few pieces of cheap cut meat, oil and onions; maybe a few potato pieces floating around in the clear meal. So often I think of those times, and wish I could duplicate it- Why? because I knew my mom loved us and did what she could to keep us healthy.

    I will also participate- I know I am behind from going on our ‘Deliverance’ trip this past week, and have yet to post my Derby photos, but its never too late to do what we have to do!

    You rock Spudsy- One day we will meet, and you will show me to ropes of my ancestry…I will be like a rabbit in Farmer Brown’s garden…oh no, I mean in a more helpful way :)

  17. It’s always a good day for soup! There are very, very few kinds that I will not eat; in fact, I just had soup yesterday (Chicken & Wild Rice). I will keep this date in mind and join in raising a bowl and spoon for this event. In the meantime, I’m going to hang on to this recipe for when romanesco cauliflower is available – my favorite!

  18. Daily Spud

    Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Chef E: I guess soup is, in a way, one of those universal foods, within reach of even the poorest and adaptable to whatever you have available to put in it. So maybe we’ll have a bowl of soup together when we do meet. That and lots of Irish whiskey :D

    Tangled Noodle: Absolutely – soup is never out of fashion. And good choice to go with the romanesco, a favourite of mine too :)

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