No.123 Levantine Cauliflower Soup

The Levant, more commonly referred to as the Middle East, has some of the most flavourful food in the world. Spices are bold but balanced. With this soup I’ve taken that idea with the humble cauliflower to make a surprising winter soup.

The oddest thing about this soup is the use of yoghurt rather than cream. Yoghurt gives an acidity and is widely used in Turkish and Iranian cooking. Just ensure you slowly add the hot soup to the yogurt to prevent it curdling.

Serves: 4

Time: 40 minutes

Difficulty: Straight forward

200g of Potatoes

750g of Cauliflower

1 Onion

1000ml of Vegetable Stock

4 tablespoons of Greek Yogurt

2 teaspoon of Coriander Seeds

2 teaspoons of Cumin Seeds

1 teaspoon of Pink Peppercorns

1/2 a teaspoon of Fennel Seeds

Sumac

Pul Biber

Nigella Seeds

Chilli Sauce

  1. To make the infused stock crush the fennel, peppercorns and coriander in a pestle and mortar, add to a warm pan for 1-2 minutes to release the aromatics and then add the stock. Boil for 20 minutes, strain the spices and top up with water to 1000ml to cover for evaporation.
  2. Chop the potatoes, onion and cauliflower in similar sized pieces.
  3. Add the onion to the soup pot with a little oil. Once softened add the cauliflower and potatoes. Cover and let the vegetables sweat for 10 minutes.
  4. Add stock and simmer for 10-15mins until the vegetables are cooked. Then blend with a hand blender adding extra stock if needed.
  5. In a large bowl add the yoghurt and slowly in batches add the soup whilst whisking. This may seem strange but by doing it this way the yogurt won’t curdle.
  6. Return the soup to the pan, heat and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour into bowls and top with pul biber, sumac, nigella seeds and chilli sauce.

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