Roasted Cauliflower and Harissa Soup



Author Notes: I love the flavor of roasted cauliflower and cumin, but the harissa mixed into it takes it to a whole new level. This North-African chile paste is seriously hot, and using half a teaspoon in this soup had me wiping my brow halfway through. It’s the kind of heat that lurks in the background, and by the time you’ve made your way to the bottom of the bowl, you’re sure to hear your internal furnace roar to life. My word of advice would be to use sparingly at first and taste and add more as you go along. This soup leaves a lot of wiggle room to easily tweak as you go.Kirthana | Theblurrylime

Food52 Review: WHO: Kirthana is the Chennai, India-based blogger behind theblurrylime.com.
WHAT: A fiery, creamy (without cream!) cauliflower soup spiked with harissa.
HOW: Roast cauliflower with spices and harissa until brown, simmer until tender, and blend until super smooth.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love cauliflower. We love harissa. And we love that this soup doesn’t shy away from bold spices and heady heat. Of course, you can adjust the amount of harissa to your preferences—even 1/4 teaspoon be plenty hot for some.
The Editors

Serves: 2 - 3

Ingredients

  • 500 grams cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon harissa paste (or more, to taste)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt

Directions

  1. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Toss the cauliflower with 2 tablepsoons olive oil, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, and harissa until evenly coated. Spread in a single layer and bake at 180°C/360°F for 45 to 50 mins, or until they’ve browned. Remove and set aside. Taste and check the fieriness of the harissa at this stage; add more if you'd like and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
  2. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pot and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the roasted cauliflower along with any of the remaining cumin on the foil to the pot, and pour in 2 cups of water. Season with pepper and salt. Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the florets and tender. Take off the heat and let it cool slightly.
  3. Once cooled, add to a blender/use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Check seasoning and add milk and more water to get the right consistency. Return the soup to a clean pot and gently reheat. Best served hot.

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Reviews (13) Questions (1)

13 Reviews

Brsboarder October 26, 2016
Are you using whole milk? 2%? thoughts on 1%?
 
Trena H. October 26, 2016
I used whole milk and was pleased with the results, however, it seems any type of milk should work well due to the small quantity.
 
Trena H. October 17, 2016
Excellent, thank you!
 
Mambi October 14, 2016
Made this tonight, was delicious!
 
Author Comment
Kirthana |. October 14, 2016
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Mambi! So glad you liked it,
 
Jennine October 12, 2016
Can't wait to try this tonight! Congratulations on winning the contest. I don't have any whole cumin seeds on hand. Can I substitute ground? And if so, how much would you suggest? Thanks!
 
Author Comment
Kirthana |. October 12, 2016
Hi Jennine! Thank you! :) and yes, you could absolutely use ground cumin. I would suggest 1/2 a tsp for this amount.
 
Joy H. October 7, 2016
Congratulations on being chosen as a Finalist! I will definitely be on the lookout for harissa so I can try this recipe!
 
Author Comment
Kirthana |. October 12, 2016
Thank you! I love the sound of your kaddo too and already have it bookmarked to try!
 
Panfusine September 23, 2016
Can I substitute powdered Harissa for the paste (or make a paste my whisking the powder with olive oil & water)?
 
Author Comment
Kirthana |. September 23, 2016
Hi! I've never used powdered harissa ( or heard about it until now :), but I would definitely add it to a little olive oil until it resembles a thick ointment and use that to coat the cauliflower.
 
Panfusine September 24, 2016
I get my stock of Powdered Harissa from Kalustyans, its a staple spice in my kitchen, since good quality Harissa paste isn't always available at local groceries.
 
Author Comment
Kirthana |. October 12, 2016
I don't get harissa in Chennai where I live, so usually end up stocking up when someone from abroad comes to visit. Coincidentally the brand of harissa that I buy is the same one food52 has used in this recipe!