Coconut and Cauliflower Soup

On my last trip to New York I ate at Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant, Red Rooster. The food is an exciting hybrid of African, Scandinavian, and American, reflecting Marcus Samuelsson’s diverse background. If you go to Red Rooster, make sure you go on an evening when they have live jazz music, and it’s a very festive atmosphere! Or, if you are a brunch person, the jazz brunch. There are many great things on the menu, but one thing that stood out was the coconut and cauliflower soup. Below is my attempt to recreate it:


Cauliflower and Coconut Soup

Serves 4 as an entree, 6-8 as an appetizer


2 tbsp coconut oil (optional)

1 chile de arbol

1 cinnamon stick

½ tsp cumin seeds, roughly ground in a mortar and pestle

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 head of cauliflower

2.5 cups of vegetable stock

2.5 cups of water

1 16 oz can of coconut milk

1 lemon

1 whole nutmeg


Good quality olive oil

Salt to taste


Heat the coconut oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. If you do not have coconut oil, you can use any neutral oil such as grapeseed oil or canola oil. Add the chili de arbol, with stem and seeds removed, the cinnamon stick, and the cumin seeds. Stir for a minute or two until the spices start to sizzle. Add the onions, a dash of salt, and stir for about 10 minutes, until onions begin to soften but are not yet brown. Add garlic and cauliflower. Stir for about 5 minutes, then add the vegetable stock and water. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a knife. Add the coconut milk.

Remove from heat, and blend with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, a regular blender works just fine but an immersion blender just makes this process much easier. Once blended, taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Add a light squeeze of lemon juice and some freshly grated nutmeg. Serve with chopped cilantro and a drizzle of good-quality olive oil.

You can experiment with different garnishes and oils – I tried a cumin oil I had, and that worked very well, and a chili oil could also be good. Marcus Samuelsson served the soup with sauteed mushrooms. The soup does not need to be piping hot – it’s almost just as good room temperature.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s