Tie Dye Purple Cauliflower Soup

This soup has it all!   It’s flavor-packed, nutrition forward and FUN. It’s also vegan, frugal, easy to make — and you get to play artist while you season it. The star of this soup is a beautiful lavender hued cauliflower.   Naturally occurring acid-sensitive anthocyanins give this vegetable its beautiful color and also make it a palette for your artistry.

Cauliflower cooks up very tender, and creates a velvety soup without the addition of cream, although if you like your soup rich you are free to add some at the end.  As I often do with soups, I adjust the brightness of the flavor by adding a bit of lemon or lime juice at the end of cooking.  As I did this with my purple cauliflower soup I saw that the strong acidity of the lime juice created technicolor pink spots on the soup’s surface.  This turned out to be a win-win:  great flavor and extraordinary color all in one!

purple cauliflower and celery, ready for cooking

I start this soup by sautéing garlic and celery in some olive oil.  Add the chopped purple cauliflower, water and salt and let it simmer for 20 minutes.  After a quick whirl in the blender this soup is your lavender palate — ready for artistry!  Drop the fresh lemon or lime juice over the soup, then use a chopstick to swirl the drops into any pattern you like.

the soup, before decorating with lime juice
Tie Dye Purple Cauliflower Soup, ready to serve

This is an excellent way to encourage children to eat this delicious vegetable.  They get to have some fun playing with their food, experiment with color, and enjoy one of nature’s most nutritious vegetables all in one sitting.  Enjoy!

Tie Dye Purple Cauliflower Soup
(serves 4 – 6)

one large head purple cauliflower, cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic
3 stalks celery, diced
3 TB olive oil
sea salt
fresh lime or lemon, cut into wedges

Sauté the garlic and celery in olive oil for a few minutes.  Add the cauliflower, 2 tsp. sea salt, and  just enough water to leave the top 1/2 inch of cauliflower chunks above the water line.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until very tender.

Blend until smooth.  Adjust salt to taste.  Serve hot in bowls with a wedge of lemon or lime for each guest to drop onto the surface of the soup.  This part is both to season the soup and enjoy the amazing color change when the acid juice hits the soup.

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