Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Pepe Soup

This soup has a strong, earthy flavor with a spicy kick to give you a good antioxidant dose and get your metabolism going. I've been reducing my intake of meat lately, so I topped the soup with some moringa to give me a protein boost.

In West Africa, you'll find your fair share of pepper fanatics. Pepper (or "pepe" as many will call it) can make or break an otherwise bland dish. Growing up in a Gambian household, I thought that I was well adapted to spicy dishes. When I arrived in Ghana, I was proved wrong. In my few months here, I've eaten many a dish so hot that it feels like my mouth is on fire. But culinary Curious George I am, I persisted. Now, I'm proud to say that I can eat my friend Julie's okro soup without hesitation. I think the ultimate spice challenge will be attempting a true Indian vindaloo at its full spice potential. Pray for my tastebuds, y'all. 

If you're not too good with spice, use one scotch bonnet for this recipe instead of two. 


Serves 6 - 8 people.

1 large yellow onion
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper
1 bay leaf
2 Scotch bonnets, stemmed, seeded, and minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups all-natural vegetable broth
2 cups water

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large baking pan toss cauliflower, carrots, and garlic with oil to coat and roast in middle of oven until golden (about 30 minutes).
  3. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown (about 8 minutes). Add bay leaf.
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock, and add the roasted vegetables.
  5. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Discard the bay leaf.
  6. Using a blender and working in batches, puree until the ingredients are smooth.
  7. Garnish with herbs or vegetables of your choice. 

Makes a great make-ahead lunch meal for the work week if you freeze it!

Akinyi OchiengComment