Cauli, kale and coconut soup

Cauli, cavolo, coco soup ingredients

Cold days and dark nights call for nourishing soups. This recipe was born last Sunday night after a long journey home from a weekend away. I wanted to knock together something comforting and quick and I had cauliflower and cavolo nero (AKA Tuscan kale) in the fridge from my Growing Communities veg box. I made the soup for dinner that night and then took leftovers into work for lunch last week. It's so good I was happy to make another batch to work my way through for this post.

This really is a speedy, throw-it-together recipe. The only thing it's useful to have made up before hand is stock. I used chicken stock, but vegetable stock would work too. I always keep a supply of homemade chicken stock in the fridge as it's packed full of nutrients and a brilliant base for soups, stews and sauces. It's great as a hot drink too (especially if you're feeling under the weather). There's a reason why chicken soup is used in so many cultures as a healing food. Hemsley & Hemsley are great advocates of stock - or 'bone broth' - and they give a useful explanation of its health benefits and directions for making it here.

Cauli, cavolo, coco soup - in pan

Combined with the stock and turmeric, the cruciferous veggies make this soup a truly anti-inflammatory meal. Cauliflower and cavolo nero contain a type of phytochemical called glucosinolates, which are thought to have cancer protective properties. They are also fantastic sources of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B's, C, K, and the minerals copper, iron, magnesium and manganese. This all-star combination makes them anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and supportive of detoxification processes.

The key to getting the most from these veggies is not overcooking them, which is why I keeping cooking time short and sweet. By using the liquid the veggies are cooked in for the soup, you'll also preserve any nutrients that have leached out during cooking.

Cauli, kale & coco soup - serving

Cauli, kale and coconut soup

Serves 4


200ml coconut milk (I use Biona full fat) - and a little extra for serving
500ml chicken stock
150g cavolo nero, roughly chopped
150g cauliflower (including leaves) roughly chopped
1tsp turmeric
Good grind of sea salt and pepper
Handful of cashews - ideally soaked for a few hours beforehand
1 clove garlic, crushed

Combine the stock, coconut milk, garlic and turmeric in a large pan and bring to a boil. Once bubbling, add the cauliflower, cavolo nero, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes until the cauliflower is just tender but still firm.

Allow to cool for another 5 minutes then add to a blender/food processor with the cashews. Blend on high speed until you get a completely smooth and creamy consistency.

Serve with an extra drizzle of coconut milk on top.