Friday, 8 June 2012

Roast Cauliflower, Cumin and Yoghurt Soup

I have long taken inspiration from Claudia Rodan, her book Arabesque is never far from hand and I'm still discovering new amazing things in it that I have never cooked. A three hour roast lamb was the most recent with cinnamon couscous, chopped dates and almonds, delicious.

So when Carruthers and Kent, Gosforth's lovely independent fine wine company, suggested we team up and put together an evening of food and wine inspired by the Middle East I was instantly planning the menu. It will be a lavish tasting feast with matched wines on the 19th July as part of the EAT! Festival. So if you fancy trying that lamb and many more tasty treats please click here for more details...

My menu planning has taken me cover to cover in lots of Claudia's books as well as experimenting with lots of my own ideas. This is a little soup that came about one lunchtime when trying to balance the lovely sunshine with the fact that I was still freezing cold. It is a roast cauliflower and spicy cumin soup but using yoghurt instead of cream adds a freshness that makes this soup summery and light as well as deep with spice and warmth, and it is also very simple.

I used half a cauliflower and made enough to serve 2-3 people. Simply chop the cauliflower into small florets and place in a baking tray, add 5 peeled shallots, a big glug of olive oil, some salt and 2 teaspoons of ground cumin. Shake it all up and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes at 180°C, until golden brown, after about 15 minutes throw in a couple of cloves of garlic, giving it a stir at the same time. When it is ready throw it all in a pan with 300ml of chicken stock and a bay leaf and simmer until everything is very soft, about 20 minutes.

When it is ready remove the bay leaf and puree until smooth and add 2-3 tablespoons of yoghurt. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to suit. To serve scatter with some toasted cumin seeds and a little drizzle of olive oil. It is a fresh light soup that is warming and spicy at the same time, perfect for this changeable weather we're having...

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Happy cooking! Let me know if you make any of my recipes, send a picture, and let me know any of your own recipes and tips! Anna x