Make Ahead

Roasted Cauliflower and Harissa Soup

Photo by Bobbi Lin
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

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Kirthana is the Chennai, India-based blogger behind
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
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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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