CAULIFLOWER, COCONUT, CURRY SOUPThe word I'Itoi inTohono Odham means: The mischievous creator god who resides in a cave below the peak of Baboquivari Mountain in Tucson, aka I'Itoi Mountain. Legend has it that visitors to the cave are asked to bring a gift (onions?) to ensure their safe return from the depths. I am not sure of the connection to the onions so more research is needed, but I do know the bulbs taste mildly shallot-like and greens are both sweet and spicy! They are supposed to be prolific multipliers so I am excited to see how they do in my newly planted herb bed. Now, on to the soup!
1 medium sized head cauliflower, cored and sliced into rough chunks
2 Tbsp. bacon fat (or butter, olive oil, or whatever good fat you have on hand)
1 medium white potato, peeled and also cut into chunks (I used an Idaho, but think Yukon Gold would be even better)
1 medium onion, peeled and thickly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 tsp. more dried thyme
2 tsp. mild curry powder
Salt/White pepper to taste
15 oz. can coconut cream
2 Tbsp. (or more) scallions or chives for garnish
Other garnish options below
Heat bacon fat (or oil) in a large soup pot. Add all veg and cook over high heat for about 10 minutes to coat the veg and just slightly brown, stirring occasionally. Add chicken stock, fresh and dried thyme, and generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover, and simmer veg until very tender; about 1 hour. Turn off heat and let sit for another hour on the stove in the covered pot. Remove sprig of thyme. Add 2 tsp. mild curry. Check and adjust for enough salt and add 1/4 tsp. white pepper or more to taste. Add 15 oz. can coconut cream. Blend all ingredients in batches until very smooth and creamy. The consistency is rich and velvety, like a Vichyssoise, but taste has much more depth of flavor. Coconut cream is much lighter than heavy cream, which the Vichyssoise calls for, so even though it is thick and rich, it is not too heavy. If your soup gets too thick thin it with a little water.
This soup is delicious hot or cold!
I pan fried 3 shrimp per serving in very hot olive oil and lots of garlic and topped each serving with the shrimp surrounded by chopped avocado (1/4 avocado per serving) and finished with a smoked sea salt.
Shredded chicken would be great as a garnish or a bunch of very crispy onions piled high. Use your imagination and let me know what you come up with!
Hope you enjoy this recipe. Next time, sausage for sure!