Cauliflower Soup, North African-Inspired

June 25th, 2012

I love this soup. Pureed cauliflower is smooth, thick and surprisingly creamy—without adding any cream at all. The recipe is adapted from a soup found in Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. I have prepared this soup many times, changing it a little bit each time. I love it because it’s tasty, healthy and keeps well for days.

The spices in the soup suit the Arab palate. Cumin, one of the indispensable spices of Moroccan cooking, along with a touch of ginger, gives this soup a distinct North African flavor. The chopped tomatoes are more than garnish; they provide a sweet, cool contrast to the creamy soup.

Cauliflower Soup

Serves 4-6

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 medium-large onions, chopped (about 2½ cups)

2 gloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch cayenne (optional)

1½ teaspoon ground fennel (optional)

2 potatoes, diced (about 2 cups)

1 medium head cauliflower, chopped (about 5 cups)

4-5 cups hot water and/or vegetable or chicken stock

1½ teaspoons salt (or to taste)

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Juice from one lemon


2 small tomatoes, finely chopped

Chives, green onions or parsley, chopped

Lemon wedges


  1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté onions in the oil for 5 minutes until translucent. Lower heat and stir in the garlic, cumin, ginger, cayenne and fennel, if using. Stir briefly, add potatoes and cook for another minute.
  2. Add 4 cups hot water and/or stock. Turn up heat and bring to boil. Add the cauliflower and return to boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. In a food processor or blender or with an emulsion blender, purée the mixture until smooth. If it’s too thick, add all or part of the extra cup of liquid. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Gently reheat soup over low heat.
  4. Serve with a generous garish of chopped tomatoes, as well as a sprinkle of parsley, green onions or chives.


Question: What is your favorite North African soup?

  1. Amanda
    June 26th, 2012 at 00:25 | #1

    Wow! I just bought Cauliflower too. I was gonna put it in lentil soup. But this recipe looks good! I didn’t buy potatoes though =( Maybe next time. =)

  2. Lisa
    June 26th, 2012 at 05:45 | #2

    This looks delicious- everything about it is promising…definitely giving this a try, thank you Holly!

  3. June 28th, 2012 at 12:15 | #3

    Holly, your photos are stunning! This is a wonderful recipe too. I hope all is well!

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      July 20th, 2012 at 23:28 | #4

      HI Alyssa, Amanda & Lisa, Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. I hope all is well with you. Happy Cooking! 🙂

  4. July 5th, 2012 at 07:45 | #5

    Hi Holly, lovely pics, and writing of course. You’ve been nominated for a by me on my post here: xx

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      July 20th, 2012 at 23:27 | #6

      Thank you so much, Sarah. I am touched. Thanks for the support. It means a lot.

  5. July 24th, 2012 at 06:49 | #7

    Ooh, that sounds AMAZING, Holly. Must try! I think even my husband might like this. Mmm. Yummers. Ramadan Mubarak!

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      July 25th, 2012 at 23:13 | #8

      Thanks, Natalie. I think it’s a good soup for summer or winter. Tell me how it turns out. Thanks for the comment.

  6. August 8th, 2012 at 09:06 | #9

    A wonderful soup! I have never tried cumin with this and I am thrilled to do so asap! Love your blog, enjoyed reading every entry!

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      August 15th, 2012 at 01:20 | #10

      Hello Taste of Beirut, thanks so much for the kind comment & for stopping by.

  7. October 7th, 2013 at 09:48 | #11

    oohh this looks so yummy!!! I just have to try this when my family comes over

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      October 14th, 2013 at 09:51 | #12

      Thanks for stopping by & for leaving your kind comment. I hope the recipe works out of you.

  8. Christine farrugia
    November 25th, 2013 at 11:56 | #13

    Hi Holly
    Recently I was given 2 original Ful Pots made in Egypt from my fatherinlaw and have been searching for receipe . Thanks for the brief history and pics. Looks good and I am going to give it a go

Comments are closed.