Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan and Harissa

Olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped medium to medium-fine
1 garlic clove, minced
1 celery stick, green top removed, chopped
2 sprigs of thyme (leaves only)
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 head cauliflower, washed, sliced into chunks
1 Parmesan cheese rind
1 teaspoon harissa
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste


In a heavy-bottomed medium-sized pot, warm up a few glugs of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until translucent and soft. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the celery and thyme, mixing well to combine, and cook for 2 minutes, allowing the aromatics to release some flavor. Add the salt and pepper and stir.

Place the cauliflower into the pot and add just enough water to cover the cauliflower (for me it was about 3 ½ cups of water, but for you it might be somewhat more or less). Bring the vegetables to a simmer and then add the cheese rind and harissa, mixing well. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, until the cauliflower gets soft and mushy.

Remove from heat and, using an immersion blender, puree the soup until silky smooth (mine took 3 minutes to get to the desired consistency). Add the lemon juice and stir to mix. Taste to see if you’ve added enough lemon juice and add more, if needed. Ladle into bowls and serve with a sprinkling of thyme leaves and a drizzle of your best olive oil.

Serves 4.

© 2023 Olga Massov