Roast First, It's Worth It | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Roast First, It's Worth It

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Roast First, It's Worth It

You won't regret the extra time spent. Amy Spiro

Simple ingredients get an extra touch to make this soup extra memorable.

The amount of different soups you can make to keep you warm and full in the winter is basically endless. A neverending variety of different vegetables, cooked with a little onion, some vegetable stock and some seasonings will not fail to produce a tasty dinner. This soup has only a handful of ingredients, but it's the preparation that really gives it a punch. 

Taking the cauliflower and garlic and roasting it first add a whole new depth of flavor to the soup, incorporating all those crust brown bits, and especially the mellow, deep flavor that garlic gets when roasted. Sure, it all turns into a pureed soup in the end - though I recommend you save some crisp cauliflower for garnish, but the flavor notes from that extra attention really come through in the final product. It's an approach that can certainly be applied to other winter soups. 

Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute's baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.

Servings & Times
  • Serves 4
Active Time:
  • 15 min
Total Time:
  • 1 hr

1 large head cauliflower

1 head garlic

2-3 tablespoons oil, divided

1/2-1 teaspoon curry powder

Salt and pepper

1 large onion

4-6 cups water or vegetable stock

  1. Break or cut the cauliflower into medium-sized florets, discarding the thick center stalk. Spread out the florets in a single layer on a large baking sheet - or use two. Peel the garlic cloves and sprinkle among the cauliflower. Drizzle the cauliflower with 1-2 tablespoons oil and toss to coat lightly. Sprinkle with the curry powder and salt and pepper.
  2. Roast the cauliflower on 400 F for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and crisp on some edges, tossing occasionally. Remove and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large pot over medium heat. Peel and dice the onion and add to the pot, stirring to coat. Cook until the onions begin to lightly brown, 8-10 minutes. Add in the cauliflower and garlic - reserving a few pieces of cauliflower for garnish if desired - and stir to combine. Add 4 cups of stock or water to just cover the cauliflower. Bring to a boil then lower to just simmering and cook for 10 minutes. Using a blender or stick blender puree the soup until smooth. Serve hot.