A few days back, during the holidays in December, I found myself in Asheville, NC. After hours of walking around from gallery to gallery taking in the local art scene and a tour of the famous Biltmore Estate in slight drizzle I found myself craving for some warm soup. So we walked into this lively restaurant. Everything in the menu sounded delicious, but I didn’t bother looking through the menu as soon as I read ‘Roasted Cauliflower and Harissa Soup’. I love cauliflowers and Harissa is by far my favorite condiment. As luck would have it, they had ran out of just that item from their menu and since then I have been craving for it. I did eat a delicious spread of southern delicacies.. Brisket with a side of collard greens and a glass of Bourbon.
So here’s my version of the soup, hope you enjoy it as much as H and I did.
Its healthy, flavorful, vegetarian and something that will warm you up.
For a recipe for homemade Harissa click here.
Time for Prep: 10 mins Time to Cook: 45 mins Yield: 4 Servings Level: Easy
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into smaller florets
- 4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp for garnish
- salt to taste
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp sherry or sauterne (optional)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp potato flour (optional)
- 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp Harissa + 2 tsp for garnishing.
- Pre-heat oven to 400F (230C) or if you have a toaster oven, use that.
- Place cauliflower in a roasting pan/baking tray, drizzle olive oil and add salt, pepper and Harissa. Toss and coat.
- Roast cauliflower until golden brown and tender, around 30-40 mins.
- In the meantime, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a saucepan. Add the onions and sauté for 3-4 mins. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté for 2-3 mins and lower heat. Add the wine (if using) and caramelize the onions in low heat, 12-15 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle the potato flour over the onions and stir to coat.
- Slowly pour in the broth, whisk until all of the flour is dissolved.
- Add the roasted cauliflower and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
- Puree soup.
- Return to the sauce pan and heat over medium flame, until its heated through.
- Serve garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and Harissa.
- I like to caramelize onions in low heat, it does take longer but it brings out the sweet flavor of onions. If your in a rush, you can sauté onions in medium high heat and hasten the process.
- Addition of Sherry/Sauterne is optional, I like adding them because I like the contrast of the sweetness of the onions combined with the wine in contrast to the lingering spice of the Harissa.
- I used Potato Flour to just make the soup thicker, its optional. You can do without it or use corn starch or cream instead.