Soups can be made with care and finesse. They can be passed through a chinois twice, velvety smooth, meticulously presented on an oversized white plate with dainty garnishes neatly placed on top. It's a starter, a small portion, something to introduce you to the main meal. It's clean, delicate, and pleasing to all senses.
Then you have the more rustic soups. Soups made without a kitchen scale, chinois or even a whisk. Lumpy dollops dropped into a bowl with a ladle and it's as simple as that. In a big bowl that you can cradle and love and makes you warm and satisfied. It's anything but delicate. It's made with care but no finesse. It's made with care and love and your own senses and it's beautiful.
Sometimes it can be fun to follow a recipe step by step and carefully prepare a beautiful dish fit for a restaurant but you know what, when I really want to cook, when I'm feeling down and need something therapeutic, I like doing things like this.
Serves 2 as a main and 4 as a starter
Recipe adapted from Mighty Spice Express
1 small head of cauliflower
180ml vegetable stock
400ml coconut milk
3 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
400g tinned butter beans
1 garlic clove
2 large pinches of curry leaves
Break the cauliflower into small pieces, reserving a couple for garnish. Bring the vegetable stock and coconut milk to a simmer and add the cauliflower along with the turmeric and chilli powder. Keep the heat at medium-ish to keep the soup at a simmer. When the cauliflower florets are tender, add the butter beans and season. Add more spices if needed. Blitz with a hand blender.
Finely chop the onion and garlic clove. In a pan, add 2 tbsp of neutral oil and when hot add the onion and garlic. Fry until golden and then add the curry leaves.
Stir this mixture into the soup, rewarm over the stove if necessary. Add a squeeze of lime and the lime zest.