Roasted cauliflower soup with crispy capers

On point for flavour and creaminess!

Roasting vegetables before adding them to soup is a great way to boost flavour and that’s certainly the case with this recipe. While this easy to make soup is delicious on its own, I really like to garnish creamy soups with something crispy, crunchy or chewy to add some extra texture and visual appeal. Sometimes, I’ll simply use a few of the roasted cauliflower florets but I highly recommend quick-fried capers as they add a huge pop of flavour.

Ingredients

Soup:

  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 2 lbs / 1 kg), cut into bite-size florets
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) olive oil, divided
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups (1 L) vegetable broth
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground cumin
  • Pinch chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter (or non-dairy alternative like butter-flavoured olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, chives and/or green onions, to garnish

Fried capers:

  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) small capers
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) olive oil

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • On the baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until lightly and evenly coated in oil. Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake until the cauliflower is tender and caramelized on the edges, 25 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway.
  • When the cauliflower is almost finished roasting, in a Dutch oven or large heavy-duty pot, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and turning translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the broth, thyme, cumin and chili powder.
  • If desired, reserve 4 of the prettiest roasted cauliflower florets for garnish. Then transfer the remaining cauliflower to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, to give the flavors time to meld.
  • While soup cooks, prepare fried capers. Pat capers dry on paper towel. Heat oil in a very small pan over medium heat and when it is shimmering, add capers, watching for spattering. Cook, shaking pan, for 60 – 90 seconds, until capers have crisped. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.
  • Once the soup is done cooking, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Remove thyme stems.
  • Puree with an immersion blender or carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender and puree it, working in batches if necessary. Stir in the butter (or butter alternative) and lemon juice; continue stirring until butter has melted. Season with a few grinds of pepper then taste and add more salt if needed and a little more lemon juice, if you like that bright note in a soup.
  • Top individual bowls of soup with 1 roasted cauliflower floret or a spoonful of fried capers and a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs. This soup keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for four days, or for several months in the freezer.

Makes 4 servings.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.

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