Cauliflower Cashew Apple Soup (Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo)
My days have been absolutely crazy lately. I’ll get home in the dark, already exhausted and starving, and contemplate ordering takeout (something I’ve done far, far, far too often lately). One night, I threw together this soup, which I created for Women’s Health earlier this year but had somehow forgotten about. I don’t know how, really, because this soup is AMAZING. With hardly any ingredients, the tiniest amount of prep time and very little cook time, this one pot wonder has flavors that are so rich and so complex they bely its simplicity. I made the thing and I kept staring at it in questioning awe, wondering how it was so delicately sweet while rich, savory, and creamy.
The base of this soup is cauliflower, the vegetable version of that kid you went to school with who was always hanging off her desk, hand raised, mouthing silently (or not so silently), “ooh, me, pick me, I know.” The teacher would sigh and look around the classroom and, because there were no other hands, he would pick her and everyone would be annoyed. But here’s the thing: she always knew the right answer. She was an overachiever, yes, and she made me feel bad about how much homework I hadn’t done, but now she probably runs Facebook and has a house on a bluff overlooking the ocean. This is cauliflower. It works in soups, it works as rice, it works in bagels, it works in fritters. It’s neither bland nor too flavorful; neither too textured or too smooth. You may question it – you may glare at it and wish it put its hand down as you’re contemplating making plant-based buffalo bites or gratin or a pizza crust, but eventually you’ll call on it, and it’ll be right, and it’ll be delicious. It’ll also be packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, plenty of fiber and glucosinates, which help boost your body’s natural detoxification processes.
The sweet, faint nuttiness of the cauliflower is complemented by a handful of cashews, which add to the silky, rich texture. Add in a mix of spices – cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and a pinch of cayenne for a hint of spice – and you have an exciting, comforting meal in a bowl, ready in less time than it takes for delivery to come.
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 1 large onion, minced
- 1 apple, de-cored and rough chopped
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- ½ tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Pinch cayenne
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 3 - 4 cups vegetable stock
- In a large pot, saute onion and cauliflower in coconut oil for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, and enough vegetable stock to just cover, then simmer for 30 minutes uncovered. Let cool for 10 minutes before blending until very smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.