Recipe of the Week: Cauliflower Sunchoke Soup

The bland color, vague relation to broccoli, and dubious odor of cauliflower always threw me . . . until recently. It was raining hard and my mom and I took shelter in the cinnamon sugared warmth of our favorite café. She ordered spicy cauliflower soup. I had a spoonful on a whim, and then another, and another. This spicy, flavorful, creamy (with no cream!), slightly sweet, and nutty soup is my homage to the one that made me fall in love with cauliflower.
West Elm Ladle The white enamel kitchen tools from West Elm's market are not only chic in their minimalism, but also super well priced. I might have to pick up the whole set, including this lovely ladle. Enamel ladle, $10, West Elm.
Ingredients 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons 4 cups yellow onions, peeled and diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 3 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed 4 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 2 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes 1-2 heads of cauliflower, trimmed of green leaves, core removed, and coarsely chopped (about 10 cups) 1 1/2 pound sunchokes, washed, scrubbed and cubed kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 quarts chicken broth 4 cups water (if needed) (makes 3 quarts) 1. Coat cubed sunchokes in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in a 425 F oven for 30 minutes, or until soft and deeply browned. 2. Heat a large pot over medium heat, add a 1/4 cup of olive oil, onion, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chili powder, chili flakes, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the garlic. 3. When onion is very soft but not browned, add the cauliflower, sunchokes, and chicken broth. 4. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is very tender, about 30 minutes. 5. Pour the soup into a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend the soup until luxuriously smooth. Add water if it feels too thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning. For more culinary inspiration, head to the Kitchy Kitchen. claire-signature-layout Photographs: Claire Thomas