Curried Mushroom and Cauliflower Soup

It’s time for another recipe!  We had a beautifully mild day here yesterday, with a high of 18 Celcius.  Today started out warm, but the temperature slowly made it’s way down the thermometer, so I decided to make a pot of soup to warm up with at suppertime.

I had some inspiration by wandering through the health food store this afternoon, checking out all the soup flavours and blends,  and decided to (gasp!) make up my own recipe.  I love the mushroom quinoa chowder I’ve been making recently, and wanted the soup to have that kind of satisfying consistency.  I also wanted to find a way to incorporate more curry seasonings into our diet.  One of my favourite curry blends is called Arvinda’s Curry Masala.  I find it at our health food store, but you can probably source out, or even make your own, seasoning blend.  As I was taught by a fellow market vendor this summer, curries are not necessarily all about heat (although there are some that pack a bit of heat!).  Rather, it’s about a flavourful blend of spices and herbs that can provide a wonderful flavour…and health benefits, (mainly due to the turmeric).

Back to my soup….

This past weekend, I picked up a beautiful head of cauliflower at the farmers’ market and wanted to include it in my soup.  I knew it would marry well with the curry.  To give the soup some bulk, I decided to go with split red lentils (they cook up nice and quickly).  Carmelized onion is a great way to start a pot of soup, and the mushrooms were a no-brainer….All I had to do was put it all together!  When all was said and done, I had a pot of hearty, aromatic and deliciously warming soup.  We each had a half bowl, and I decided to put the rest away for lunch tomorrow – that took alot of willpower on my part though!

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!  Please feel free to tweak it, by adding some roasted squash, more or less curry seasoning, or even a bit of garlic.

CURRIED MUSHROOM AND CAULIFLOWER SOUP

1 medium onion, diced

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, chopped

2 or 3 shiitake caps, sliced

2 cups diced cauliflower

1 Tbsp. curry masala seasoning

4 – 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup split red lentils

1 cup milk or heavy cream (optional)

Saute the onions and butter until fragrant and carmelized, about 5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms, cauliflower and curry seasoning, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.  Add broth and lentils, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to med. low and continue until lentils are cooked (about 15 minutes, time may vary depending on lentils).  Before serving, you may add the milk or cream.

I garnished my soup with some broccoli sprouts, just to get some greens into it (besides, they sure make a bowl of soup look purdy!)

Bon Appetit!

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