Silky and rich-tasting (though it contains no cream), this is one of our favorite fall soups.
- 1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into bite-size florets
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for garnish
- Fine sea salt
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 quart vegetable broth, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more as needed
- Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh scallions, chives, or parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until lightly coated. Arrange in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake until the cauliflower is caramelized on the edges, 25 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway through the cooking time.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or soup pot, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and nearly translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the broth.
Reserve four of the prettiest roasted cauliflower florets for garnish. Then transfer the remaining cauliflower to the pot. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, to give the flavors time to meld.
Once the soup is done cooking, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender, working in batches. (Do not fill the jar past the halfway mark; hold the lid down with a folded towel.) Add the butter, lemon juice, and nutmeg, and blend again. Add more salt, if desired.
Top each bowl of soup with a roasted cauliflower floret, a decorative drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley or green onion and/or chives. This soup keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for about four days, or for several months in the freezer.
Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from cookieandkate.com