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June 04, 1997|DONNA DEANE | Deane is director of The Times Test Kitchen

The easy way to give pureed vegetable soups a rich flavor is to add cream. A more interesting method is to complement the vegetable with other flavors that bring out its own natural richness. In this soup, for instance, cauliflower is cooked with nonfat chicken broth and pureed, then paired with pieces of steamed red potatoes, which give the soup a fullness, and a bit of turmeric.

A squeeze of lime and a few sprinkles of chives or cilantro help bring up the flavors of the soup. Choose cilantro if you want to highlight the turmeric and play up the ethnic notes of the soup.


1 cup chopped onion

Nonstick cooking spray

1 (49-ounce) can nonfat chicken broth

1 head cauliflower, broken up into florets

4 large red boiling potatoes, cubed

1/2 teaspoon turmeric


Cracked black pepper

Juice of 1 lime

Snipped chives or snipped cilantro leaves

Saute onion in 4-quart saucepan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray until onion begins to brown around edges, about 5 minutes.

Add broth and bring to boil; add cauliflower and return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, steam potatoes in steamer over boiling water until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Puree cauliflower mixture with hand blender or in blender until smooth. Simmer broth until creamy, about 5 minutes.

Add cooked potatoes to pureed soup. Add turmeric and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into serving dish. Add squeeze of lime juice to taste. Garnish with chives.

8 servings. Each serving:

80 calories; 192 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 0 grams fat; 12 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams protein; 0.80 grams fiber.

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