Note from Joy: I love guest posts, especially when they are as delicious as this recipe sounds with a powerful punch of hemp seeds. I met Bianca at the CHFA show in Vancouver recently and she did a guest post for me in February -- Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Coconut. Since then, I've fallen in love with her recipes because she's a "real" food lover. Plus the fact, she included all the nutritional highlights for you - yay! Enjoy this one!
It's no secret that eating a vast array of colored vegetables and staying at arms length from the "white" stuff, holds the key to health and vitality; and, although, I agree wholeheartedly with that school of thought, there are some exceptions- namely mushrooms, whitefish and, of course, cauliflower.
Cauliflower is a brassica, meaning it contains compounds like indoles that give him and his relatives the hard earned reputation as cancer fighters! In addition to indoles, cauliflower contains sulphurophane, which gives it, not only its dirty feet like smell, but more cancer fighting properties. I don't know about you, but I'm willing to forgive a less than desirable fragrance for cancer protection.
So how does this alabaster vegetable fight cancer anyways? Well, within minutes of being ingested, sulphorophane enters the bloodstream and fires up the body's antioxidant defenses; when it reaches the cells, it activates phase two detoxification enzymes secreted from the liver, which cripple carcinogens and then helps to remove them from our cells- I mean, what's not to love?
Now cauliflowers, like many in the brassica dynasty, have endured many years of trash talk, due in large part to poor preparation; listen when I say this, brassicas are done a huge disservice when they are boiled beyond recognition, taking away from their inherent toothsome appeal; this serves only enhances their pungent aroma, read: makes them taste like feet. So if you think that you don't like cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, I can tell you that you do; you just haven't had them the RIGHT way yet.
Let's fix that shall we; starting with cauliflower soup.
I know it's the dog days of summer, but soup is always perfect in my opinion; and this soup is the epitome of perfection, as it can be enjoyed piping hot or chilled- hot or cold, this soup realizes its full potential. Yes, I know this is the season of heavy meat consumption, as the smell of mesquite is the quintessential bouquet of summer; but please do not disregard this soup. I boosted its protein quotient with hemp seeds, my favorite; making this not only the perfect meal, but a nutritionally complete one too.
Grab a bowl; 'cause soups on!
Cauliflower and Hemp Seed Soup with Curried Brown Rice Bread Croutons
1 head cauliflower
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup hemp seeds, unshelled
900ml vegetable stock
1/2 loaf brown rice bread (any whole grain bread will do)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
Roughly the cauliflower and shallots. Heat coconut oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot heated to medium high heat; add the shallots, cauliflower, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until color begins to develop. Add stock and hemp seeds; simmer for 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is softened- but not mush.
Meanwhile, cut the brown rice bread into large 2 inch pieces. In a bowl mix olive oil, curry powder and salt; and add the bread and toss to coat. In a non stick pan, on low heat, cook the bread crumbs, tossing occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the bread is crusty on all sides.
Remove the cauliflower mixture from the heat; and separate the cauliflower, shallots and hemp and add to a food processor. Add in half the amount of liquid and blend on high; then add in the liquid in 1/4 cup increments, until desired consistency is achieved.
Serve hot or cold; and garnish with croutons and parsley.
Bianca Osbourne is a natural foods chef, freelance writer and nutritionist in training. She spreads the gospel that healthy food IS delicious! Her recipes can be found on her website Vitality Guide for Women.