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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hearty, dinner-sized portions for 4, smaller portions for around 6