Nigella Lawson’s Cauliflower, Garlic and Turmeric Soup

This recipe is taken from The Royal Marsden Cancer Cookbook, a collection  of recipes (from leading cooks and food writers) along with advice and FAQs designed to support cancer sufferers and their families. The recipes have all been reviewed and analysed by Dr Clare Shaw, a consultant dietician at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. There is nutritional information for each one plus a table listing the best recipes for individual problems.

I’m a big fan of soups, they deliver a healthy nutritional punch whilst being comforting, tasty and easy to eat, perfect for cancer sufferers with little appetite. Turmeric is a well known source of curcumin which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 large head of garlic or 2 small

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cauliflower, broken into florets

1 heaped teaspoon turmeric

1 large potato, peeled and diced

1 litre (1¾ pt) hot vegetable stock (Marigold bouillon powder is fine)

parsley or coriander, to serve


● Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Cut the top off the head of garlic so that you can just see the tops of the cloves. Sit the garlic on a generous square of tinfoil (shiny-side up) and drizzle a small amount of the olive oil over. Pull up the edges of the foil to form a tightly wrapped but baggy parcel and put in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a little while you get on with the soup.

● Pour the rest of the oil into a wide saucepan and fry the onion gently for 10 minutes or so until softened but not browning. Add the cauliflower florets and turn in the oily onion. Add the turmeric and keep stirring, then stir in the potato. Cover and cook over a low to medium heat for about 10 minutes.

● Squeeze in the pulpy, sweet, baked garlic cloves (just squish the head straight into the saucepan) and then add the stock. Bring to the boil, lower the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for a further 15 minutes or so. Purée in a food processor or blender or, if you like a soup with more texture, just stick a handheld blender in the pan or bash about with an old-fashioned potato masher.

● Add freshly chopped parsley or coriander to the bowls as you eat. A good squeeze of lemon juice also lifts the flavour, I like to add this to most of the soups I make!


My name is Caroline Sutton and I'm a wife and mother of 3 children, passionate about food, keeping me and my family healthy, gorgeous interiors and shopping! I have a degree in Biochemistry and Pharmacology and continue to be interested in the science behind diet and drugs. I also have a Diploma and City and Guilds in Interior Design and for the last 17 years have run a property company which develops, redevelops and manages rental properties: Sunlight Properties Ltd.

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