Roasted Cauliflower and Toasted Almond Soup

Soup is a humble yet extraordinary culinary creation that warms the heart.

1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), stem discarded, florets cut into 2-inch pieces, leaves reserved (if available)
2 medium white onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2½ tsp ground cumin
2½ tsp ground coriander
2 Tbsp salted butter
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large sweet potato (about 14 oz), skin on, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp ground turmeric
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of garam masala
2 Tbsp sliced almonds
Coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving
Sea salt and ground black pepper

Step 1 
Heat the oven to 400°. In a mixing bowl, add chopped cauliflower, any cauliflower leaves and onions. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle in cumin, coriander, cayenne, 2 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together, then arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the cauliflower is browned and cooked through but still has some bite, about 25 minutes.

Step 2
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the potato and turmeric, add the stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until the potato is soft.

Step 3
When the cauliflower is done, reserve about 1 cup cauliflower for the topping (including leaves, if you have them) and add the remaining cauliflower and onions to the soup. Return the soup to a simmer and cook until flavors meld, about 5 minutes. Blitz with an immersion blender until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Step 4
Toast the almonds in a dry skillet over low heat with garam masala and a few dashes of salt, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. When you are ready to serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Top with the reserved roasted cauliflower and a scattering of almonds and parsley. CS

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