This rich soup is healthy, vegan and quick to prepare. It's good hot or cold and keeps well if you don't plan to serve it all at once. I use orange caulflower rather than white when I can find it, for its higher content of beta-carotene. Cashew milk makes the soup deliciously creamy. This is a good way to get the anti-inflammatory benefit of tumeric. Garnish each bowl with caramelized onions and bright green cilantro for a beautiful presentation.
1. Put the cashews in a blender and blend until finely ground. Add 3/4 cup water and blend for 2 minutes. Pour the cashew mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon. Discard the solids.
2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden. Add the cauliflower, coconut milk, strained cashew milk, curry powder, tumeric, cumin, sugar, cinnamon, and salt as needed. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Blend the soup with an immersion blender until the desired consistency is reached. If using a standing blender, allow the mixture to cool for 20 minutes. Pour the soup into the blender. Hold the lid down firmly with a clean, folded towel over it. Start on low speed and blend until the soup is smooth. Return to the pot and reheat if serving hot. Ladle into bowls and garnish with caramelized onions and cilantro before serving.
The city of Samarkand is on the storied Silk Road, but off the beaten path for many tourists. Caroline Eden and Eleanor Ford make the case for the ancient Uzbek city's food and culture in their new book, Samarkand: Recipes & Stories from Central Asia & The Caucasus. They spoke with Lynne Rossetto Kasper about it.