Did you know that turmeric and cauliflower are both super plants that can fight disease? If you didn’t then prepare to be amazed by their powers. These two simple ingredients can make such a huge impact on your life and wellness. Combined, they make a beautiful and luxurious soup that you can enjoy any day.
This recipe is whole-food plant based and is oil-free. I found a recipe from Beth Kirby at localmilkblog.com, and made a few tweaks to make it oil-free and with fewer ingredients. For the broth, be sure to check out my recipe for Instant Pot Vegetable Broth (under the post 1 broth, 3 soups)! Or you can also use store-bought broth or water. My advice to you is this: if making the broth is just one more step that is stressing you out, then buy it or use plain water. Healthy eating and cooking should be fun and easy. Don’t feel pressured to always make everything from scratch. I use store bought broth if I don’t have time to make it. It’s all good, friends!
So, a little background about turmeric – maybe you are familiar with it from Indian food or maybe you don’t even have it in your spice cabinet. Well, turmeric is a root, which has a neon orange inside and lends food that warm golden yellow color. It’s often used to dye foods, like mustard, and will definitely stain your kitchen tools FYI! I’m usually able to find it at the grocery store in the produce section. Sometimes it’s clumped with the “exotic” fruits and veggies. If you cannot find it, then use powdered turmeric instead.
Grating the turmeric root with my Microplane grater, which yes, is missing the handle! Still works though…
Recently, turmeric has been all the rage, from golden mylk lattes to supplements. And there’s good reason for it. The component of turmeric that gives it such super powers is curcumin. This chemical is being researched heavily and I found so many scientific studies investigating its potential use in cancer treatments. Curcumin has been found to cause the death of cancer cells, also known as apoptosis. This is huge. I mean, think about it. It literally kills cancer cells.
On top of that, turmeric curcumin is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Inflammation and oxidative stresses are at the root of our most common diseases in America – heart disease, cancer, vascular disease (stroke), diabetes, Alzheimers, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Anti-oxidants work to undo oxidative stress and damage to our bodies and DNA. Oxidative stresses occur due to certain foods, chronic stress, lack of sleep, smoking, environmental pollution and toxins, UV light, immune system response to infections, too much iron and other metals, and physical inactivity. When there are many oxidative stresses in our lives, things in our bodies don’t work as good. This leads to increased disease and premature aging. By consuming many antioxidants, we can greatly decrease these effects!
Cauliflower is in the family called Brassica, which includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip, and a few others. This family of cruciferous veggies also has been heavily researched for their effects against cancer.
Like turmeric, cauliflower and other brassicas have a special chemical that is anti-cancer. This is called sulforaphane.
Cruciferous vegetables play antioxidative and chemopreventive role, delaying or blocking in vivo carcinogenesis, causing biochemical and epigenetic changes, preventing, delaying, or reversing preneoplastic or advanced prostate lesions, and frequently activating tumor cell death by intrinsic methods of apoptosis .
So, there’s some evidence for team plants! Of course, the most important thing to understand is that, just like with anything, you have to consider all of the factors. If someone’s diet is junk food, but they take turmeric supplements, that will not cancel out the bad diet. These things all combine together, like a symphony. Turmeric and cauliflower are just two things we can use to our advantage.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and feel great eating it.
- Sita Sharan Patel, Ashish Acharya, R. S. Ray, Ritesh Agrawal, Ramsaneh Raghuwanshi & Priyal Jain (2019)Cellular and molecular mechanisms of curcumin in prevention and treatment of disease, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1552244
- Tomeh, M.A.; Hadianamrei, R.; Zhao, X. A Review of Curcumin and Its Derivatives as Anticancer Agents. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 1033
- Paulo M.P. Ferreira*, Lays A.R.L. Rodrigues, Lunna Paula de Alencar Carnib, Paulo Víctor de Lima Sousa, Luis Michel Nolasco Lugo, Nárcia M.F. Nunes, Jurandy do Nascimento Silva, Lidiane da Silva Araûjo and Karoline de Macêdo Gonçalves Frota, “Cruciferous Vegetables as Antioxidative, Chemopreventive and Antineoplasic Functional Foods: Preclinical and Clinical Evidences of Sulforaphane Against Prostate Cancers”, Current Pharmaceutical Design (2018) 24: 4779. https://doi.org/10.2174/1381612825666190116124233
Cauliflower Turmeric Soup
Makes about 5-6 large bowls
This is a whole food plant based soup adapted from Beth Kirby (local milk), but made simpler and oil-free. It’s brilliant yellow and full of health-boosting nutrients that makes a gorgeous starter dish or a regular weeknight meal. I like to top mine with tofu cubes for a complete meal.
Author: Leah Romay
- 2 heads of cauliflower
- 2 T water (plus extra as needed)
- 1 t salt
- 1 onion, medium chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, grated
- 3” piece of ginger, grated
- 2” piece of turmeric, grated (or 2 T powdered)
- 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups vegetable broth (+/-)
- 1 – 12oz can regular coconut milk
- 1 T honey (omit for vegan)
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 2 T white miso
Blender – I tried this recipe with the immersion blender and it didn’t come out as smooth as I would like, so I highly recommend a regular blender for the best result.
Microplane grater – one of my most favorite tools. Makes adding garlic, ginger and turmeric so easy.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Wash the cauliflower and cut into florets. Arrange on your backing sheet and sprinkle with water, 1 t salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and gold in some places. Don’t burn.
- Once the cauliflower is finished roasting, you may reserve some of the florets to use as a garnish to serve, if you like.
- Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium head. Add the chopped onion and 2T water and cook until soft. As the onions are cooking, add more water as needed to prevent burning. Then add in the garlic, ginger, and turmeric, and black pepper. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add in the cauliflower and stir to combine. Then add in the vegetable broth. When adding the broth, it should just cover the cauliflower. If your cauliflowers were smaller or larger than average, then you may need more or less broth. If you need more broth, but are out, then just add water. You can always thin the soup out later if it is too thick, so being more conservative with the broth now is better.
- Cover the pot and turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce back to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- After simmering, turn off the heat. Add in the honey, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and miso.
- In batches, transfer to the blender and blend on high for 1 minute until smooth. Return back to the pot and stir to combine all of the blender batches. Adjust any seasonings and add more water or broth to thin out if necessary.
- To serve, top with a drizzle of coconut milk, the reserved roasted cauliflower and any other toppings you like.
- To make this soup a meal, top with pan-seared cubed tofu.