Healthy Recipe, Loaded Cauliflower Soup

This creamy vegan soup is light and full of flavor, yet deceptively filling. It’s adapted from one in “The Vegetarian Reset” by VasudhaViswanath, which provides plant-based solutions for vegetarians struggling to curb their carbs in the absence of meat. Here, the Indian-born author replaced most of the lentils in her favorite dal with cauliflower and boosted the protein with a handful of raw cashews. A spoonful of turmeric, a component of curry prized for its earthy-sweet flavor and anti-inflammatory effects, supplies its lovely golden hue. Serves 4. — Susan Puckett Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 or 2 jalapeño or other hot green chiles, split lengthwise (remove seeds and ribs if you want to tone down the heat)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
3 cups water
1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed of stem and leaves, roughly chopped
¼ cup raw cashews
¼ cup yellow moong dal or split red lentils, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper Instructions
1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chile, ginger, and garlic and sauté a minute or so, or until fragrant, taking care not to brown.
2. Add the water, cauliflower, cashews, lentils, 1 teaspoon of salt, and turmeric, and stir to combine.
3. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are cooked and the cauliflower and nuts are soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Blend with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth or transfer the mixture to a conventional blender or food processor and puree. Stir in the lemon juice; taste for seasoning and add a little more salt and lemon juice if desired.
5. Ladle into serving bowls, garnish with cilantro and a few grindings of black pepper, and serve. (Store in the refrigerator for up to a week; freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to three months. Re-blend to restore smooth consistency after defrosting if needed.) Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

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