This creamy vegan soupis light and full of flavor, yet deceptively filling. It’s adapted from one in “The Vegetarian Reset” by VasudhaViswanath, which provides plant-based solutions for vegetarians struggling to curb their carbs in the absence of meat.Here, the Indian-born author replaced most of the lentils in her favorite dal with cauliflower and boosted the protein with a handful of raw cashews. A spoonful of turmeric, a component of curry prized for its earthy-sweet flavor and anti-inflammatory effects, supplies its lovely golden hue.Serves 4. — Susan Puckett
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 or 2 jalapeño or other hot green chiles, split lengthwise (remove seeds and ribs if you want to tone down the heat)
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 3 cups water
- 1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed of stem and leaves, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup yellow moong dal or split red lentils, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro for garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chile, ginger, and garlic and sautéa minute or so, or until fragrant, taking care not to brown.
- Add the water, cauliflower, cashews, lentils, 1 teaspoon of salt, and turmeric, and stir to combine.
- Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are cooked and the cauliflower and nuts are soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Blend with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth or transfer the mixture to a conventional blender or food processor and puree. Stir in the lemon juice; taste for seasoning and add a little more salt and lemon juice if desired.
- Ladle into serving bowls, garnish with cilantro and a few grindings of black pepper, and serve. (Store in the refrigerator for up to a week; freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to three months. Re-blend to restore smooth consistency after defrosting if needed.)
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.