Cauliflower Soup with Herbed Chickpea Dumplings
1 3/4 lbs (800 g) cauliflower florets, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 6 cups)
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 medium-large onions, diced
2 medium carrots, chopped
5 large cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon hot paprika (more or less to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 cups (1.4 liters) low-sodium vegetable stock
4 3/4 oz (135 g) tomato paste
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon soy or tamari sauce
1 1/2 cups (180 g) besan (chickpea flour, also known as gram flour)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup (120 ml) water (or slightly more or less as needed)
Minced fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Toss the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread the cauliflower in an even layer on a large baking sheet and roast until tender and browned in spots, about 20 to 25 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a 5-quart pot over medium heat; add the onion and carrot and cook until slightly softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly.
Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the bay leaves, spices (smoked paprika through black pepper), vegetable stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down a bit to keep it at a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the roasted cauliflower to the soup during the last 2 minutes of simmer time. Taste the soup and add additional salt and pepper as desired.
While the soup simmers, make the dumpling batter. Whisk together the besan, salt, baking powder, scallion, and parsley in a medium bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the water a little at a time until it comes together into a thick dough (about the consistency of cookie dough).
Use a 1 tablespoon measure to drop the batter into the simmering soup. Lightly spoon a little broth over the dumplings, then cover the pot and cook until a toothpick inserted into a dumpling comes out clean, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle the minced fresh parsley on top if desired, and serve.