Cauliflower-corn soup

I love this recipe which is an altered version of  Anna Jones’ chowder.   Sometimes I find chowders too bland or too heavy-creamy or too coconutty, so I tweaked the original to our taste – a bit more of this, a bit less of  t’other – and am calling it a soup instead of chowder.
It’s quick and easy to prepare and has elicited several yums around the table when I’ve served it to friends.  Definitely my happy new recipe for 2024.

There are several herb and spice options, depending on your likes.   In this recipe I’m suggesting 8 crushed dried curry leaves and/or a generous tsp of ground garam masala in the cooking.
However, if you don’t fancy these spices you could just add chopped any-herb-you-love as a finishing touch with the rest of the topping; either coriander, parsley, basil…


Serves 4
Dollop of olive oil for the pot
1 leek, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
8 dried curry leaves
1 tsp ground garam masala
600g cauliflower, cut into florets (leaves removed and shredded for topping)
2 tins (260g each) corn, or frozen corn, or fresh kernels from 4 cobs of corn
1/2 400mg tin ie. 200mg coconut milk (you can cover the remaining 200gm in glass jar; refrigerate up to 3 days)
900 ml rich veg stock
juice of 1 lemon


4 spring onions, finely sliced
about 3-6 cauliflower leaves depending on size.  Stripped from the stem (or not, if the stem isn’t tough)
olive oil to drizzle
3 tbsp almonds, roughly chopped (& roasted if you have time)


Heat the oil in a large pot and add the leek.  Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft, but not charred.
Add the garlic, garam masala/dried curry leaves (crushed with fingers), a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
Pop in the broken-up cauliflower, most of the corn – save about 20 kernels for the topping -, the veg stock and coconut milk.
Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 20 mins until the cauli is soft.

Use a hand-held blender to loosely blend so it still has some texture.
Add the lemon juice, taste, then perhaps more pepper or salt or lemon, then taste again and adjust to your version of perfect.


Add a little olive oil to the pan then toss in those 20 kernels, the sliced spring onion and as many shredded cauliflower leaves as will balance nicely with the rest (I shredded 6 small leaves but stripped them from the white stem as it was very tough!)
When the corn is charred and the greens wilted, add the chopped almonds. You can toast these first if you have time on your hands.  I used some delicious Spanish Marcona almonds because they were there.
Scatter this lovely green, nutty mix on top of the soup with a drizzle of olive oil.

Buon appetito!