Perfect for soaking up the warmth and sustenance of the sun on this crisp and golden autumn morning, as we shift from the final night, last night, and following day, today, of Laksmi, into the first night, tonight, of Sarasvati, in the Indian festival of Navaratri. The goddess of good fortune and abundance in the Hindu pantheon, Laksmi is symbolized by the harvest and the light of the sun that nourishes us, and the color yellow. Sarasvati, associated with purity and the color white, is the river of wisdom and inspiration that moves through us when we have cleared the path and built the channel strong enough to hold her. This soup, both raw and pureed, is very cleansing and sustaining, as it moves easily and quickly through your digestive system and provides lots of food and nourishment in each bite without as much bulk in your stomach. The fiber in cauliflower acts like a scrubbing brush that pushes other food through your system, the lemon juice an astringent that draws out impurities and leaves you feeling clean. The tahini provides calcium and protein, the miso and soy sauce friendly enzymes, the avocado potassium, vitamin E and healthy monounsaturated fats that soothe your stomach and keep your skin supple and moist in this drying time of year. Cumin and coriander both stimulate appetite and improve digestion, and make everything more delicious! They also balance each other as cumin is slightly warming and coriander cooling in nature. Turmeric is also warming, and is an anti-inflammatory that relives joint pain and stimulates healing in the body. And it imparts the golden tint to this cauliflower soup that causes even its aesthetic to reflect the blending of the golden light of Laksmi and the clear white purity of Sarasvati symbolically occurring on this day.
(This recipe and some of the nutritional information is adapted from the recipe for Curried Cauliflower Soup in Brigette Mars’ amazing cookbook, “Rawsome”, which is, um, rawsome, truly…I am not raw or vegan and yet including these types of recipes in your diet can increase your nutrition and add another way of experiencing food to your repertoire of food preparation.)
Golden Cauliflower Soup
½ head cauliflower
Juice of ½ to 1 lemon
5 Tablespoons tahini
½ teaspoon turmeric
teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 ½ Tablespoons sweet white miso
2 or more cups water
Cut cauliflower into pieces that will fit into your food processor. Peel and pit avocado. Squeeze lemon juice through a strainer to remove seeds. I use whole cumin and coriander and pulse them to a powder in a coffee grinder that I only use for spices, never coffee – coffee is too strong and will overpower the taste of all your spices. Put everything into a food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust water and all seasonings to desired taste and consistency.