Thai Coconut and Roasted Cauliflower Soup

We love soup. It’s one of those meals that’s so multifunctional, it’s good for lunch or dinner, it freezes well and usually tastes even better on the second day once the flavours have settled, and we’re happy to eat it in almost any month of the year!

I don’t think it matters which province you live in – the weather during this time of year can be highly variable from day to day. We just finished a week of cool, rainy weather, and soup was a perfect meal! | Roasted cauliflower | Roasted cauliflower soup

When Jonty was working from home last autumn, he was in charge of making soup during the day, and thus he became the Soup Master. He admitted his approach was very formulaic, but it worked every time!

How to make soup like a Soup Master!

  • The Star: Decide what vegetables you want your soup to be comprised of (cauliflower, sweet potato, broccoli, carrot, squash, etc…) and roast them for flavour.
  • The Base: Throw diced onion, garlic, ginger and chilis (if you like a bit of heat) into a big pot with a bit of olive oil and let everything soften.
  • The Liquid: You’ll need enough liquid to just cover all the veggies (we often add more at the end, thin out the soup as necessary). We like chicken/veggie stock, coconut milk and a splash of wine (if we have any).
  • The Simmer: The Star + The Base + The Liquid all hang out in a big pot and simmer away for about 30 minutes, to develop flavour.
  • The Blend: We really like smooth, pureed soup, so everything goes into the Blendtec, in batches, and is whizzed up until completely smooth.
  • The Finish: We start by adding an acid to taste (lime / lemon juice, or even white wine vinegar). It’s amazing how much the flavour will pop once an acid is added. After that, we add salt, to taste. | Roasted cauliflower soup

This was Jonty’s formula for virtually every soup, and I don’t think we ever had a bad-tasting soup! | Roasted cauliflower soup

Once the price of cauliflower finally started coming down (because nobody wants to pay $8 for a small head of cauliflower!), this soup made a regular appearance at our table. One of the versions we liked the best was this Thai-style one, in which we would throw in a few stalks of lemongrass while simmering (remove them just before blending), and finish with lime juice, lime zest and a handful of cilantro at the end. | Roasted cauliflower soup

This is a great soup to have on-hand. If you want a more substantial meal, add some roasted chicken or a can of tuna or a handful of chickpeas for protein. It freezes really well and the flavour develops as it sits, so be prepared for it to taste even better the next day!

Now have a crack at making soup without a recipe!

Thai Coconut and Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8 - 10 bowls
  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 9.9 g
  • Saturated fat: 8.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.4 g
  • Sugar: 3.7 g
  • Sodium: 390 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This is a general guide for making soup, so the liquid amounts are only an estimate.
  • 2 medium heads of cauliflower
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 3 or 4 pieces (remove outer layer)
  • 3 - 4 Thai red chilis, optional
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • Chicken / veggie stock, enough to cover the vegetables (about 3 - 4 cups)
  • 2 limes, zest + juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful cilantro, chopped, for serving
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
  2. Remove the stem and outer leaves of the cauliflower, so that the head can sit flat. Mist with a bit of oil, place on a tray and roast for about 40 minutes, until it starts turning golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool enough to allow handling before chopping the cauliflower into pieces.
  3. In a large soup pot, heat a bit of oil over medium-high heat and add the diced onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chilis. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the chopped cauliflower to the pot.
  4. Pour in the can of coconut milk. Add enough chicken / vegetable stock to just cover the vegetables.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil, partially cover and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  6. Simmer the soup for about 30 minutes.
  7. Take the soup off the heat and allow to cool slightly before pureeing. In batches, puree the soup in a high-speed blender until very smooth. Return the soup to the pot, add the lime juice and zest and taste. Add salt, if necessary.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro to serve.
This soup tastes better the next day and freezes very well.

Enjoy! | Roasted cauliflower soup | Roasted cauliflower soup

Training for Climbing: Sending Season (And Sweet Potato-Coconut Power Soup!)

Well, we have finished up the last of the training phases (power endurance) and will be finally getting into our performance phase! The month of September is full of random days off work, to get outside as much as possible to climb. We had yesterday off and headed up to Squamish to take a look at some of the routes we want to climb. | Looking down Howe Sound, Squamish BC

For the entire duration of our training cycles, we’ve battled with hot, hot weather. As of last Friday? We had more rain in one weekend than we’ve had for the entire summer – perfect timing, hey?! We want the cooler temperatures, but we also need dry rock! We headed out to the crags, passing by water streaming down the banks, carefully traversing the wet, slippery trails. Not a good sign. | Waterfalls, Porteau Cove BC

Most of the walls: totally wet! Or seeping in the cracks! Or soggy through the crux sections… Insert sad trombone sounds here. | Wet rocks at Murrin, Squamish BC

So, we did what any frustrated climbers do – we headed back to Vancouver and made use of the climbing gym to get one last power endurance session in. Actually, we both had an enjoyable time, it felt good to make the most of an unfortunate start.

The weather is supposed to stay dry over the long weekend, so we’ll head up on Sunday and keep our fingers crossed that the rock dries out.

For the last few weeks, in preparation for our performance month, we’ve modified our diet a bit, trimming out a few niceties (ice cream! sponge cake!), and getting in 5 “clean days”, then indulging on the weekend a bit. This, combined with switching to walking from cycling is all it takes, easy really… | Sweet potato-coconut power soup

One of our favourite meals has been this Sweet Potato Coconut Soup. We call it our “Power Soup”, because every time we eat it, the slow-burning carbs from the sweet potatoes seem to give us an extra energy boost the following day – perfect for those long days at the crag! Soup is also easily digestible, low in calories and usually quite filling, so we’ve been loading up on it (often with a few slices of this on the side). | Sweet potato-coconut power | Sweet potato-coconut power | Sweet potato-coconut power soup

This soup is very easy to make and, for having so few ingredients, is unbelievably flavourful, highly recommended! Lime, ginger, lemongrass and shallots infuse into the coconut milk-based broth, and using a high-powered blender to purée, creates a velvety-smooth soup with no added cream. Feel free to use yams or sweet potatoes. We’ve used both (sometimes a combo) and either tastes great. | Sweet potato-coconut power soup

(Jonty added a swirl of beet purée to his, for a pop of colour, and it was unexpectedly tasty!)

With the fall temperatures approaching, and the nights drawing in, this is definitely a soup to should consider making. | Sweet potato-coconut power soup

Training for Climbing: Sending Season {and Sweet Potato-Coconut Power Soup!}
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8 - 10 bowls
  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 221
  • Fat: 18.7 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.7 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 63.3 mg
  • Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 4.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 shallot bulbs, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cubed
  • 4 - 5 cups low-sodium chicken (or veggie) stock
  1. In a large pot, briefly sauté the shallot and garlic in a small amount of oil. Add the ginger, lemongrass, lime zest and coconut milk (if you rinse out the cans of coconut milk, add that water to the pot) and bring the mixture to a boil. Partially cover the pot and reduce to a simmer. Let the ingredients infuse into the broth for about 20 - 30 minutes (the longer you can wait, the better the flavour).
  2. Remove the lemongrass stalks from the coconut mixture and add the cubed sweet potatoes and enough chicken/veggie stock to fully cover the vegetables. On medium heat, simmer until the sweet potatoes are cooked and tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. In a blender, purée batches of the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add the lime juice, reheating if it's cooled below your preferred temperature. Taste the soup and add more salt, if necessary.
This soup freezes well, or will keep in a tightly-sealed container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Enjoy! | Sweet potato-coconut power soup