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Cauliflower Soup with Marcona Almond and Piquillo Pepper Relish

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Serves eight.

If you can find it, use orange cauliflower; it won’t change the soup’s flavor but will give it a lovely golden color.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1-3/4 lb. (6 to 7 cups) cauliflower florets (from 1 medium head)
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Marcona or regular almonds (roasted and salted), finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup jarred piquillo peppers or roasted red peppers, rinsed, seeded, and finely diced
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh mint
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a 4-quart pot over high heat. Add 1 tsp. salt, then add the cauliflower and boil until very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the cauliflower in a colander set over a large bowl to catch the cooking liquid and let the cauliflower cool slightly.

Working in 2 batches, purée each batch of cauliflower with 2 cups of the cooking liquid and 2 Tbs. of the butter in a blender until very smooth. Season to taste with salt. (The soup can be made up to 4 hours ahead.)

In a small bowl, combine the almonds, peppers, oil, mint, garlic, and pepper flakes Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The relish can be made up to 1 hour ahead.)

When ready to serve, gently reheat the soup over medium-low heat. Garnish each serving with a spoonful of the almond relish.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 140; Fat (g): fat g 12; Fat Calories (kcal): 110; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 4.5; Protein (g): protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 7; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 460; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 15; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Christopher Hirsheimer; food styling by Melissa Hamilton

Really disappointing for a Fine Cooking recipe. Beyond bland. Basically it is cauliflower cooked in water. No taste. The only thing that sort of saved this was the relish. I will look for a different cauliflower soup recipe and use the relish with that.

This was bland - REALLY bland.

extremely easy and very tasty for the calories. So creamy, it's hard to believe there's no dairy in the recipe. For the leftovers, I added grated sharp cheddar for a different taste. I will definitely make again.

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