Ginger and Lemon Cauliflower Soup

This is a recipe in which the supporting ingredients—in this case, ginger and lemon— bring life to cauliflower.
December 14, 2016

Ingredients

For the Soup
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 heaping teaspoons freshly grated ginger, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound (450 g) cored cauliflower, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) florets
  • 3⅓ cups (800 ml) vegetable broth, hot
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 long strips fresh lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • Nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
  • Fine sea salt and Ground pepper
For the topping
  • Freshly grated lemon zest
  • A few black peppercorns, crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • Olive oil

Instructions

In a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes or until soft and golden but not brown.

Add the ginger and sauté, stir­ring constantly, for 1 minute or until fragrant.

Add the cauliflower, hot vegetable broth, bay leaf, lemon peel, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is al dente.

Remove the bay leaf and lemon peel and discard. Use a slotted ladle or spoon to remove about 7 ounces (200 g) of the cauliflower florets and set them aside.

Purée the remaining soup in a food processor or blender, or with an immersion blender. If the soup is in a food processor or blender, return it to the pot.

Season to taste with addi­tional ginger, lemon juice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Break the reserved cauliflower into bite-size pieces, if necessary, and gently stir it into the soup, or use it as a topping.

Divide the soup among bowls, sprinkle with the grated lemon zest and crushed peppercorns, and drizzle with a little olive oil.

About this recipe

"This is a recipe in which the supporting ingredients—in this case, ginger and lemon— bring life to cauliflower, a vegetable that can seem plain and cabbagey but is actually rather delicate and subtly sweet. Refined with assertive ginger and lemon, cauliflower can be surpris­ingly light and fresh, a bit edgy but not at all intrusive.

The cauliflower, citrus, and ginger combination works so well that I use it often in my kitchen. Oven roasting adds a wonderful hint of smokiness to this trio, but turning them into soup is one of the fastest recipes in my cauliflower repertoire—it takes just 15 minutes. Naturally smooth and velvety, this soup doesn’t require any butter or cream and is nearly pure vegetable." -- Meike Peters, author of eat in my kitchen

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Eat in My Kitchen

Congratulations to Meike Peters for winning the 2017 James Beard Award for Best Cookbook in the general cooking category!

Ingredients

For the Soup
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 heaping teaspoons freshly grated ginger, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound (450 g) cored cauliflower, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) florets
  • 3⅓ cups (800 ml) vegetable broth, hot
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 long strips fresh lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • Nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
  • Fine sea salt and Ground pepper
For the topping
  • Freshly grated lemon zest
  • A few black peppercorns, crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • Olive oil
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