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Harissa-Spiced Cauliflower-Almond Soup

4-6 Servings

45 minutes

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Almonds toasted in olive oil with harissa (use the spice blend, not the paste) serve double duty here, first as a base for the flavor-packed vegetarian soup and then as a garnish that adds contrasting texture. Simmered and pureed with tender cauliflower, the nuts add a unique richness and body. If you own an immersion blender, the soup can be pureed directly in the pot.



45 minutes


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Beth M.
August 13, 2023
I have made this once or twice a month for over a year. I just started reading the reviews and thought I'd finally weigh in. I have always used Harissa paste. I add it right at the beginning with the almonds and olive oil. I also have always used homemade chicken stock just to add a little more protien. I never use 7 cups. I start blending the solids and add as much liquid from the pot to get the soup to a thicker consistency but still creamy soup. I use the leftover liquid for other soups or our favorite - as the liquid for rice made in the instant pot. For the cauliflower size mentioned in the recipe I roughly use a quart plus a little more stock or stock/water combo. I still generally don't use it all for the final soup once I've blended. I know these are not exact measurements but this soup is incredible and so healthy!
Chiharu O.

This was amazing! I can't believe how savory it was without any stock!

Brian M.

Fantastic - so much flavor, as the other poster noted here. Highly recommend.

Anne V.

I’m not sure what they mean by harissa spice blend. I have harissa sauce in a jar. I wouldn’t know where to buy it. We have the jar at our stores but not a spice blend.

Lynn C.

Hi Anne -

In this case we mean the harissa dried spice blend as seen here - If you can't find it, you can try stirring in some harissa paste after you've blended the soup before adding the lemon juice. We haven't tested this, but we think it will work fine. Good luck!

The Milk Street Team

Jonathan W.

The video clarifies that instead of harissa spice blend the soup can be made with other spice blends, encouraging ones that include turmeric. I'd recommend the printed recipe include that same comment (for those of us like Anne who have Harissa Paste instead of Spice Blend). Looking forward to trying it!

Lizabeth L.

I usually love Milk Street recipes but this one didn't work for me. Soup was too thin and not that flavorful. Were I to make again I would add more spice (or use a different blend) , reduce the water to 6 cups and not fully cover while cooking.

Julie H.

I used your suggestion of 6 c water instead of 7. Good recommendation!

maureen s.

I have made this twice. The second time I forgot to remove the almond mixture for the topping and pureed it all in the soup. Very simple, healthy and flavorful. I made half of the recipe each time. Will definitely be making this again.

Deb A.

The video says 1/4 cup olive oil and the printed recipe states 1/2 cup oil. Which is correct?

Felice N.

Delicious, however here are my suggestions for the recipe. I found a harissa blend recipe online but that could easily be provided by Milk Street. Also since cauliflower varies in size unless you really will weigh the exact amount suggested in the recipe, start with less water. I added 6 cups of water but next time I might start with 5 and then add as desired. Great low carb and vegetarian recipe.

Julie H.

Loved this... just the right amount of heat! I used 6 c water and 1 c cream at the end. I used 2-1/2 Tbsp harissa paste after blending and 1/8 c reconstituted lemon juice (tempered with a small amount of hot soup to prevent curdling).

Jonathan M.

Good, but 2 tsp of salt is plenty (versus 1 TB) and 1/4 cup lemon juice went beyond the boost of acidity to overpower with lemon (following all ingredients amounts, 2 1/2 cauliflower, etc.).

Sally B.

make extra almonds toasted in the Evoo...if you nibble!. The side of the pot is important! tou want some room to move around in.

The recipe was divided in half by friends who made this because local super market Cauliflower are a little over a pount! SO yummy to cook! I found Harrissa at a local market...seems okay. make extra almonds to mibble on.

Susan M.

Delicious. I made this with Milk Street's harissa recipe.


This was outstanding. Probably my favorite soup of the winter season so far. I used harissa paste - couldn't find the spice in my stores. 1/2 c of oil seemed like a lot, so I used 1/4. I did stir the paste in with with the almonds, and because the paste has a lot of oil, I could have used less - this mixture was very oily and because the almonds add a lot of fat to this, I don't see the need for so much oil to give it a luxurious mouth feel. The other tweaks were adding about a 1/2 c of chopped cilantro steams before blending instead of using leaves when serving, and used less lemon juice. I really didn't want to taste the lemon in this, but just brighten it up.