This unsung veggie, all wan and nondescript, is a treasure trove of nutrition (and a magnet for spices).

IMG_6861A head of cauliflower of 6-inch diameter packs 11g of protein, 12g of fiber and nearly five times your daily requirement of Vitamin C. All that in a trim 146-calorie package that is amenable to as much or as little flavoring as you desire.

That’s why it’s my soup of choice for my 5:2 regimen this week (that, and the fact that a friend asked for a creamy cauli soup recipe that was also light and tasty).

ginger, onion, chiliAs you can tell, I am on a bit of a soup bender, making a different big batch every week and challenging myself to find new ones of 50 cals or under per cup. [On a fast day, I like to start our evening meal with soup because it’s filling and stuffed with veggie goodness, then follow it with more veg and protein. Ludicrously, it’s possible to have nutritious and satisfying three-course 5:2 dinner of under 350 cals this way.]

greek yoghurt

In the ring with the cauli soup is another power-hitter – mustard seeds! These tiny black seeds are loaded with selenium and magnesium – both great anti-inflammatory nutrients. To bring everything together into velvety, smooth scrumminess, a little tub of non-fat Greek yoghurt was added (packing a whopping 18g of protein).

The amount  below –  including cream cheese – should yield nearly 10 cups of soup at about 50 calories a cup 🙂

What you need:

  • Cauliflower, 1 kg (very large head) – 250 cals
  • Olive oil, 1 tsp – 40 cals
  • Shallot, medium – 10 cals
  • Chili, green, 1/2 (deseeded) – 1 cal
  • Ginger, 3 slices, minced – 2 cal
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp – 10 cal
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp (optional) – 6 cals
  • Stock, veg or chicken – 6 cups (30 cals, College Inn chicken stock)
  • Lemon, juice and zest of
  • Greek yoghurt, nonfat, 170g – 100 cals (3 tbsp)
  • Optional – cream cheese, optional, 1 tbsp – 40 cals
  • (Substitute the yoghurt for 4 tbsp of coconut milk, if you wish, at 93 cals total)
  1. Saute the shallot, chili. mustard seeds and ginger in the olive oil
  2. Add the garam masala, stir till fragrant
  3. Add stock and bring to a boil
  4. Add cauliflower and allow to simmer for about 20-25 minutes
  5. Turn the stove off and drop the yoghurt (and cream cheese if using) into the pan
  6. Add lemon juice and zest
  7. Whizz in a food processor till smooth and silky, adjust seasoning if needed (add a tsp of Better Than Buillon, for eg)
  8. Enjoy!