Golden Cauliflower and Miso Soup

with Sauteed Spring Mushrooms

4 cups cauliflower, broken or cut onto large florettes  *good stems are okay to use as well!

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 head of garlic, peeled and the cloves roughly chopped

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock  *low salt is best

1 (340ml) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well

1/2-1 cup coconut milk (used canned rather than the thinner drinking version)

1/2 cup white miso paste *white rice, chickpea - any light colored variation

1/4 tsp turmeric powder *is strong tasiing but a little gives the gorgeous golden color

2-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice

a touch of honey if it needs for flavor balancing

1 tsp whole cumin seeds, or 1/4 tsp ground

chopped baby spinach to stir into hot soup

mushrooms for garnishing - cremini, shitake, oyster, maitake, enoki...

   *Slice or break apart the mushrooms into small bite-sized pieces.  

Saute in a hot frying pan with a little olive oil, or you can also rub them with a little oil and roast in a hot oven.                                                       

                                      Makes about 6-8 servings

In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium heat.

When hot, add the onions and stir for 2-3 minutes,  add the chopped garlic and stir for another minute or two. 

Add the stock, cauliflower, chickpeas and cumin seeds. 

Cover and cook until veggies are soft. 

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.  Add the coconut milk. 

*if you don't have an immersion blender, wait until the soup has cooled and use a food processor or regular blender.  Return to the pot and reheat. 

Add the miso paste and turmeric powder, blend in,  add 2 tbsp lemon and a little salt if needed.  Taste.  Add more lemon if needed, and a little honey if the flavors need to be balanced.  Salt will help with this as well.  Add chopped baby spinach to hot soup and top with mushrooms.

*A note about Miso

Miso is a fermented paste, usually made from soy and rice, but many health food stores also carry ones made from various other beans such as chickpeas, aduki beans, barley, which can be soy-free.  The "live" miso is always kept in the fridge, but can last a very long time once opened.  Miso has many health benefite, as well I find it very grounding and comforting.  As the flavors even between brands can be very different, your soup will reflect these variations.  Thus sometimes the recipe needs to be played with slightly to balance the flavor against the type of miso you have used.

South River is an excellent brand with many soy-free options.

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