D is for Dinner's no-salt challenge: Curried cauliflower soup

Some Ottawa chefs-in-training have a challenge on their hands next week — to make a delicious salt-free supper for a special gala.

Blue and Green Soirée at Algonquin College restaurant March 23

Some Ottawa chefs-in-training have a challenge on their hands next week — to make a delicious salt-free supper for a special gala.

The Blue and Green Soirée at Algonquin College, an evening to raise money for The Kidney Foundation of Canada, focuses on a salt-free menu to demonstrate a renal-friendly diet.

Patricia Treusch, the founder and chair of the soirée, and Marnie Watson, an Algonquin culinary management student who designed the 11 courses on the menu, are the guests on CBC Radio's All In A Day Wednesday.

They share their recipe for a salt-free cauliflower soup with CBC.

Curried cauliflower soup with apple garnish


  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) unsalted butter.
  • 500 g (1 lb) cauliflower.
  • 125 g (1/2 cup) onion.
  • 1.25 litres (5.25 cups) chicken or vegetable stock (see recipe below).
  • 125 g (1/2 cup) potato.
  • White pepper to taste
  • Curry powder (see recipe below).


  • 1 tart apple such as Fuji or Honeycrisp.
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) unsalted butter.
  • 2.4 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon.
  1. Cut onions into a medium dice.
  2. Cut cauliflower into small florets.
  3. Cut potato into small dice.
  4. Heat butter in a heavy pot over moderate heat.
  5. Add cauliflower and onions and sweat the vegetables until they are about half cooked. Do not let them brown.
  6.  Add stock (homemade will guarantee sodium free)
  7.  Add potatoes. Bring to a boil.
  8. Simmer on low until all vegetables are tender.
  9. Puree the soup with immersion blender.
  10. Add curry powder and white pepper slowly and simmer. Should be a mild flavor not overpowering!
  11. ¼ cup cream can be added right before serving for extra creaminess if desired.

Apple Garnish

  1. Cut apple into small dice.
  2. Add butter to sauté pan over moderate heat.
  3. Add apples and cinnamon and sauté until apple is soft on the outside and slightly firm inside.
  4. Spoon small heap into center of soup and serve.

Curry Powder

  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds.
  • 2 tbsp. cardamom seeds.
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds.
  • ¼ cup of turmeric powder.
  • 1 tbsp of dry mustard.
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. In a dry pan, over medium heat, toast cumin seeds, cardamom seeds, and coriander seeds. This will only take a few minutes. When you can smell the seeds, the oils have been released and they are ready to use.
  2. Add turmeric powder, dry mustard and cayenne pepper.
  3. Store in airtight container until you are ready to use and then grind in a spice grinder, or a coffee bean grinder or with a mortar and pestle.

Vegetable Stock (2 litres)

For full flavour, use all ingredients as listed. Omit vegetables as desired.

  • 25 ml. vegetable oil. 
  • 300 g Mirepoix (diced carrots,onions and celery).
  • 62 g leeks (whites and greens, chopped).
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped).
  • 50 g fresh fennel (small dice).
  • 50 g fresh tomatoes (diced).
  • 50 g parsnip (diced).
  • 2.25 litres water.
  • Sachet (cheesecloth tied with butcher string).
  • 1 dried bay leaf.
  • 15 g dried ground thyme.  
  • 15 g whole black pepper (crushed).
  • 4 each fresh parsley (stems).
  1. Heat the oil. Add the vegetables and sweat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the water and tie sachet ingredients into cheesecloth and add.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30–40 minutes.
  4. Strain, cool and refrigerate, freeze, or use immediately.