Soup of the Week – Spiced Cauliflower and Sudden Growth

Categories Cooking, Doing, Eating, Growing, Learning, Loving, Thinking

I am alone today.

I was alone yesterday, too. Kidzilla is in school for the second day in a row with no snow day or delayed start. The Hub’s ankle is feeling better and he went back to work yesterday. I and the Rotten Cats are quietly and peacefully doing our thing.

I miss them, though, even if I do enjoy the solitude and the time to get things accomplished. My productivity is different when they are home. It’s not non-existent; it’s just different.

As I sat here yesterday, I was a bit nervous. Kidzilla was on a field trip – her first without one of us along as a chaperone. That drew a lot of my attention; I am prone to worry about such things. It was a short trip and there were plenty of teachers, of course. My Mom assured me it would be fine and that the school hadn’t lost any kids to date. (Like she never worried her head off when one of us was on a trip without her. Sure.) Of course it would be fine, but I still said an extra prayer or two that all would be well and that Zilla would behave herself.

This trip was a first. And it’s just one more in a long string of firsts, but I started thinking about all the other firsts Zilla’s had lately and it occurred to me that she is growing very fast. Too fast. All of a sudden, there are so many things that are different…

She reads. A lot. But lately, she curls up in a chair with her long legs slung over the side and disappears into a chapter book all by herself. Wasn’t it just yesterday that she climbed on my lap and said, “Read, Mommy”?

She is finding her way around my kitchen with much less help. She pours her own cereal and even pours her own drinks, when the containers aren’t too full. She can reach the counters and the pantry shelf without help or a stool. She knows where the chocolate is.

She helps me plan menus and makes her own meals. Well, some of them. She does things like select her own lunch items for school and she knows my rules – fruit, vegetable, protein, grain. At home, she makes her own lunch. Recently, she put together a lunch good enough for any corner deli. She did it with no help, only supervision, then put it out on a cool place setting. She was very proud of herself and I would hazard a guess that her sandwich tasted particularly good to her that day.


She has started taking showers at night, not baths. Some nights she even heads up to get ready for bed without being told, just because her body tells her it’s time. She makes her own bed and keeps her rooms neat. She starts her homework right after school, checking off assignments as she finishes them.

And lest anyone think our girl is perfect, she also gets herself into trouble often enough for her remarkably teenager-like ‘tude and what I like to call “playground mouth.” She has been known to roll her eyes, “humph” at either or both of us to express her displeasure, and has slammed a door or two for emphasis.

It’s exciting. It’s sudden. It’s sort of surprising. I suspect it shouldn’t be – we knew this would happen. But yet it is surprising. And scary as hell.

Another thing that surprised me recently is how her culinary taste is changing. Zilla is a willing and adventurous participant in the kitchen. She has a rather mature palate for a little girl. Certain spices, though, still do not appeal to her.

So I was pretty shocked when she gave a rave review for this Creamy Spiced Cauliflower Soup.

First of all, nobody loves cauliflower. Well, maybe people do, but certainly not in the way that we love a good hot pizza or chocolate or red wine. But this was not your average cauliflower soup.

Cauliflower Soup with Sourdough and Apples

What sold me on this soup was the color. Usually cauliflower soup is so very…white. This looked warm and golden. I was pretty sure the Hub would eat this, but Zilla worried me. This has turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cumin, red pepper, black pepper, and fresh dill. Any one of those can be a bit mature for young taste buds. Together? I was certain I would need a less adventurous alternative for Zilla.

But once she got over her own surprise about the ingredients, she loved it. And I’m not talking about the spices…

Cauliflower Soup with Sourdough and Apples

I have become quite comfortable making new recipes with flavors my family may not have tried before. When I try one, I will often say it’s a “guinea pigger,” as I did the night we had this soup for dinner.

“Mom!” Zilla shouted as she came down the stairs into the kitchen. “Why would you put a guinea pig in the soup??? That’s dee-skusting!”

I assured her that there were no guinea pigs in the soup. (In fact, this one’s vegan!) Comforted by the fact that there would be no guinea pigs swimming in her bowl, my daughter enjoyed a very grown up soup for dinner. We served it with a seven-grain sourdough bread and apple slices the first night. On leftovers day, we topped it with herbed feta and chives.

Cauliflower with Feta and Chives

The recipe comes to us from Produce on Parade, which is a very sweet little blog filled with beautiful vegan recipes and an adorable rescue dog. (Jen, if you haven’t seen this one, you have to check it out.) The recipe was quick and easy and the only items I had to purchase were the cauliflower and some coconut milk. We skipped the fresh dill garnish and used dried because the market didn’t have any fresh on hand. We added a bit of paprika on top as well.

Click over to Produce on Parade, say hello, and grab the recipe. It’s easy, it’s inexpensive, and like all great soups, tastes even better the next day.


Cauliflower Soup in Jars 2

*Nobody tells me I put the same photo in here twice? Thanks, guys… I’m leaving it.

Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

11 thoughts on “Soup of the Week – Spiced Cauliflower and Sudden Growth

  1. I’m in for soup. I love that you are teaching Zilla all about proper nutrition and the different food groups. I made a cream of cauliflower soup once using cauliflower and FF evaporated milk. It was good and white until I put some curry powder on top. That really elevated the flavor. So now I’m thinking about the feta and the chives and my mouth is watering.

    1. I love all kinds of soup, but if there is one full of vegetables (or even one vegetable) that has great flavor that I can use to up the nutrition, I’m all for it. This was really food and flavorful – it says spiced, but it is not spicy. I’d really love to try the fresh dill, but I’ll have to wait until the market gets some. The chives and feta were awesome and I think I added some red pepper flakes on top.

  2. DO I have to say it? Okay I will anyway… LOVE THAT KID! I am going to go to that other site now and check out soup recipes… love soup too…not nearly as much as the zilla but still….soup…just sayin. Did your questions btw … two fer with vals…

    1. I have to do Val’s yet. I hit brain tilt at like 3:00 when THE FIX ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON IN THE CAR A WEEK AFTER WE HAD A FULL DIAGNOSTIC. Seriously, WTF?
      Tonight we made homemade creamy tomato with veggie alphabets. Zilla’s request and one of our favorites.

  3. Whoa. I made cauliflower soup on Sunday night and added curry and Tumeric. It was just delicious. Am so excited to see this here and will check out the site! What timing! I also adore soups and am always tinkering and tweaking recipes. Do hope your Zilla had a splendid time on the field trip.

    1. That’s pretty weird. Those flavors do a lot for cauliflower. The site is really great – I haven’t read too much yet, but what I have seen is really great.
      Soup is our thing here – got that from my Mom. She often made a big pot of something and then it was there for a few days for other meals, lunches, etc. Now that everyone’s moved out, she doesn’t do much of that at all, so I often take her a jar of whatever we make here.
      Zilla loved the field trip – they saw a play at the local high school. They have a terrific theatre department. We saw something there in the summer, too, but Zilla said she loved this one more.

  4. Oh now that sounds ridiculously tasty and thank you for turning me on to her site. It’s really pretty and I can’t wait to dig in over there and start pinning some recipes!

  5. That recipe sounds pretty yummy! Although I would probably un-vegan it and add cream instead of coconut milk.
    Zilla needs to open her own kids restaurant.
    I love the term “guinea pigger” and vow to start using it whenever possible.
    Oh, and I don’t have a guinea pig to add to any soup, but I do have two hamsters in my freezer, still awaiting burial, if you want them 🙂

    1. It was really good and I think would be just great with cream, too. Someday when the Hub and I decide we’re ready to do our restaurant/club we are definitely putting her to work!
      Please do use guinea pigger and post about it so I can feel famous for inspiring the term. 😀 And yes, you do have hamsters…I remember that. I kind of love that I remember that because it means we’ve been friends a while, doesn’t it. 🙂

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