Cauliflower and Cardamom Soup

Cauliflower SoupHappy First Day of June! As seems to be typical in Seattle, the first day of the month greeted us with rain and in my book that calls for a simple weeknight soup.

A note about dried spices: the longer you keep them in your cupboard, the less potent they become. I always buy whole spices and when I need them, I grind them in a repurposed coffee grinder. This ensures the spices will have more flavor. If you insist on using that old bottle of cardamom from the back of the pantry, you may find that you need to add a bit extra to this recipe.

In this recipe I dry roast the cauliflower before adding it to the soup. This caramelizes it a bit first, giving it a lovely rich flavor.


1 head cauliflower, leaves removed, head & stem chopped into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 pinch lavender
32 oz chicken or vegetable stock
1 lime, juiced
salt to taste
sour cream & cilantro for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400*. Place chopped cauliflower on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Place it in the oven and cook until edges of cauliflower are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile in a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and add the onions. Sweat the onions until they become translucent. Add the garlic, cardamom, and lavender and stir until they become aromatic.
  3. Add the cauliflower and chicken/veg stock. Bring everything to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (or blend in a traditional blender in several batches according to the blender’s hot liquid capacity).
  5. Once the soup is blended, stir in the lime juice and season with salt to your tastes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of cilantro or parsley.

Modifications: This soup would also work well if you replaced the cauliflower with celery root or parsnips. Have fun!