The original recipe for this soup was from Experience Life Magazine. It was advertised as a non-dairy soup; heck, a bit of butter and low-fat milk does this soup a world of good. The original recipe did not have turmeric, cinnamon or Tabasco.
In the middle of my third decade, I’ve experienced excessive knee pain from too much intense weight training and running since my teenage years. I Googled natural joint-pain pain relievers and turmeric was up there in “good for you.” This is no medical advice by any means, but I try to add turmeric powder whenever I can. OMG, turmeric in this soup is so yummy! After I have portioned a cup of soup into my coffee mug, I add an additional 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric. Do your own research and consult with your doctor if you are experiencing joint pain; it may be more than pain and inflammation from wear and tear.
I added a lot more cardamom than initially called for in the soup. It’s twice as expensive compared to most spice bottles at the store. Cardamom really makes the soup; if you don’t have this spice, don’t make the soup!!
Cinnamon is another natural remedy; it supposedly helps manage your blood sugar. Again, check with your doc. I saw Anne Burrell (Secrets of a Restaurant Chef on Food Network) use it in her chicken noodle soup. I made her recipe and it was quite delish. I figure I’d add it here. It’s barely noticeable, but I think it enhances the soup for sure.
The flavor of Tabasco marries nicely with this soup. I add a bit to the pot, but drizzle more once I ladle the soup into my cup.
All chopped ingredients are about the size of a pinto bean.
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 c. chopped, sweet yellow onions
1 c. chopped celery
1 c chopped carrots
¼ c. minced, fresh ginger
1 tsp. salt
1 average-sized head of cauliflower, roughly cut (or about 6 cups of roughly cut cauliflower if you buy the ready-to-eat variety)
1 c. lightly salted cashews
8 c. chicken broth
1 ¼ tsp. salt
1 – 6 oz. can of tomato paste
1 ½ tsp. ground cardamom
1 ¾ tsp. ground turmeric
¾ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. Tabasco
3 T. unsalted butter
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 c. 1% (2% milk is fine, a bit more “rich”)
Tools: large pot, medium sautee pan, large whisk, 4-cup microwavable measuring pitcher, 1-cup microwavable measuring pitcher, immersion blender, rubber spatula, trivet
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of evoo in the large pot.
2. Add the onions, ginger, celery, carrots and salt; sautee till softened and onions are translucent.
3. Add the cauliflower and cashews. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. In the mean time, heat 4 cups of the chicken stock in the microwave; it does not have to come to a boil.
5. Once the cauliflower has cooked for 10 minutes, turn the heat to medium high. Add the other 4 cups of broth, 1 cup at a time so that each cup comes to a boil before adding subsequent cups.
6. Add the 4 cups of stock that was heated.
7. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil; reduce heat to just under medium.
8. Cook the veggies until the cauliflower is very soft, as in over-boiling the soup.
9. Place the trivet on the counter near your stove.
10. Remove the pot from the stove and place on the trivet. Reduce the burner heat to medium low.
11. Spoon the can of tomato paste into the pot.
12. Use an immersion blender to completely pulverize the vegetables, incorporating the tomato paste at the same time.
13. Set the blender aside; you are done with it.
14. Place the pot back on the burner; the heat should be at medium low.
15. Add the cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon and Tabasco. Incorporate the spices with the large whisk. Stir occasionally as you prepare the thickening sauce.
16. For the thickening sauce, place the sautee pan on another burner set to just under medium heat.
17. Melt the butter in the sautee pan.
18. In the mean time, heat the milk in a small measuring pitcher for 1 minute in the microwave.
19. When the butter has melted, add the flour. Cook the roux for 1 minute.
20. Add the warm milk to the roux, stirring quickly with a rubber spatula. The mixture may look somewhat lumpy, but that’s fine.
21. Heat this thickening sauce just until the mixture moves around in the pan like melted cheese sauce; it should be of a pourable, but thick consistency.
22. Pour the thickened milk into the pot of soup.
23. Whisk quickly, but carefully to incorporate both mixtures.
24. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring constantly with the whisk.
25. Ladle into a bowl or mug, adding more Tabasco and turmeric if desired. It’s even better the next day!!
NOTE:Sometimes I add cubed chicken breast and pumpkin seeds once I portion my soup. Or, I put a bit of havarti cheese atop a small slice of artisan bread, toast in a toaster oven till cheese is melted then dip into the soup…yummers!
For me, life is all about a positive mental outlook and having motivational tricks in my back pocket to stay happy, healthy, and productive. Here’s a quote I found in one of my favorite collection of little books sold at YourSuccessStore.com, Zig Ziglar’s Little Book of Big Quotes.
“Success is one thing you can’t pay for. You buy it on the installment plan and make payments every day.”
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