Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Leaf Soup

Rather than wasting cauliflower leaves, I tried throwing them into this simple broth recipe – it worked surprisingly well. Both the stem and leaf takes a while to cook down, so there’s no need to separate them as I would with softer leaves such as pak choi.

Thinly slice 2 pink or red onions, 2 cloves of garlic and the leaves from a large cauliflower. Peel, slice thinly and cut into strips 1 medium sweet potato. Melt a generous amount of butter (or oil for vegan) in a deep saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until beginning to soften; add the sweet potato and cauliflower leaves with 1 tsp chinese five spice and 1 tsp cumin. Make up 1l stock with 1 tbsp vegetable stock powder and 1 tsp miso paste (or 1 tbsp soy sauce); add to the vegetables, stir well, bring to the boil then simmer for 1/2 hour or until the cauliflower leaves are soft to the bite. Season with salt and black pepper if desired.

Serves 3 with bread.


Cauliflower Biriyani

Adapted from a vegetarian recipe with the help of a friend. Not very authentic, but adaptable to whatever’s in the fridge.

Fry 1 medium onion or leek, thinly sliced and 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or thinly sliced, in a little oil in a large (preferably non-stick) saucepan for 5 minutes, or until onion/leek is beginning to soften. Add 1/2 cup brown or white rice, 1 heaped tbsp curry paste, a pinch of chilli flakes to taste, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp garam masala and stir well until the spices coat the rice. Add 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets, 1 small courgette, thickly sliced, a handful of broken cashew nuts, a handful of raisins and a 400ml can coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30-45 minutes (brown rice will take longer to cook), stirring occasionally and adding 1/2 cup water about halfway through the cooking time, until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed.

Serves 2, or 3 with naans


  • Easily scaled and frozen or eaten for leftovers. Keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • Instead of coconut milk, any other non-dairy milk or 1/2 cup yoghurt and 1/2 cup water or stock may be used
  • The best kind of cauliflower to use is romanesque, although it’s not always easy to get hold of! A mixture of cauliflower and broccoli can be used as well
  • The turmeric, chilli flakes and garam masala can be substituted for an extra tsp of curry paste if you don’t have them
  • If your cauliflower comes with leaves on, they can be added to the biriyani halfway through the cooking time
  • I would suggest keeping the cauliflower but any other vegetables can be substituted in and out as you have them. Soft vegetables like peas, spinach etc should be added to the biriyani halfway through the cooking time, or else they’ll cook down to mulch.