This just in from my niece Zoe Castle in Miami--it's really good and just the thing for those who are still stalwartly pursuing New Year's resolutions. s for me, I'm just trying to eat more veggies and soups. Any more than that, and I catch on to the "diet" concept and rebel thoroughly. For some reason, her Cauliflower and Lentil Soup reminds me, sort of, of my own Improv Minestrone, captured in a long-ago column. If I had fresh basil right this minute, I'd be making it too. Maybe that oregano growing in a planter in front of the driveway would do the trick...
Castle's Cauliflower and Lentil Soup
Rinse 2 cups of red lentils and simmer in 6 cups of water for 10 minutes( save the water).
In a large pot gently toast 2 tsp of mustard seeds and 1 tsp sesame seeds. Add 2 cups onion and 3 Tbsp vegetable broth and sauté for 5 min.
Then add 4 crush cloves of garlic and pinch of salt with an additional tbsp of broth. Cook for 3 min.
Add 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp fennel, 2 bay leaves, 2 tsp turmeric, 1 1/2 cups almond milk, 1 1/2 tsp coconut extract, and 3 (blanched, peeled, and chopped) Roma tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Chop a head of cauliflower and add to pot along with lentils and cooking liquid. Juice of one lime. Simmer for 20 minutes. Optional...partially purée soup with an immersion blender.
Notes: Youcould try substituting a can of coconut milk for the almond milk and coconut extract. I assume it's similar. Also, I use vegan products so go ahead and use regular milk if that what you have. Also, I add cashews for garnishment and a nice crunch.