Where Is My Spoon Recipes Appetizer Cauliflower Soup with Almond Balls and Coriander Cumin Dukkah

Cauliflower Soup with Almond Balls and Coriander Cumin Dukkah

by Adina 01/12/2016 9 comments

Cauliflower Soup with Almond Balls
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Last Updated on 17/06/2020 by Adina

A creamy cauliflower soup with almond balls and almond dukkah, a delicious vegetarian starter for the Christmas lunch or dinner.

Cauliflower Soup with Almond Balls

In case you haven’t yet started thinking about what you will cook for Christmas, now would be the time to start doing it. 🙂 Many of my friends already know what they will cook, especially the traditionalists like my mother-in-law, who tend to cook the same meal each Christmas, but there are still some who still don’t have a clue and keep asking around: “And what will do cook for Christmas this year, cause I still have no idea?”.

Cauliflower Soup with Almond Balls

Like I’ve mentioned above, what my mother-in-law is concerned, we have the same each Christmas day for lunch: goose with bread dumplings, Brussels sprouts in white sauce and green bean salad. The only thing changing from time to time is the dessert. Last year we had one of my favorite desserts: layers of raspberries, cream and homemade meringue, sometimes she makes an equally delicious dessert with cream, cherries and caramelized almonds or sometimes, her husband would make one of his famous yogurt bowls with lots of cream on top. So whipped cream rules! 🙂

We used to spend Christmas Eve at her house as well, but since Bruno was born eight years ago, we changed the tradition and now we always celebrate Christmas Eve at our place and Christmas Day at their house. And you might have guessed already, I ALWAYS change my Christmas Eve dinner. Although I thoroughly enjoy my mother-in-law’s usual Christmas lunch, I cannot even imagine making the same thing every year.

Cauliflower Soup with Almond Balls

Last year we had a delicious Turkish inspired dinner with lots and lots of small dishes on the table. It was really really great, but at the end of the day (and a few more times in between) I swore I will never make myself so much trouble with the Christmas dinner again. I started one day in advance and spent the whole of the 24th of December in the kitchen. By the time we went to the church I was exhausted… So this year the motto is “less is more”. I decided to cook things that can be made in advance and then reheated, things like soup, sarmale – Romanian cabbage rolls and a dessert that has to be made a day in advance as well. So on the actual day, I will only have to bake a bread (or buy one…), decorate the dessert and reheat the rest of the meal. Great!!

To make things easier for other people as well, I decided to make a series concerning Christmas dinner or lunch, including some ideas for things that do not require you to spend so much time in the kitchen and allow you more time to enjoy with your family. They are not the things mentioned above though, with the exception of the dessert. The reason I am not cooking that for Christmas myself is that I have already cooked that twice for the blog and it’s really not me to eat the same thing so often in such a short period of time. 🙂 But they are delicious things, easy to make and yet impressive, so you can be sure that your family and guests will be satisfied.

Cauliflower Soup with Almond Balls

The proposed menu includes today’s Cauliflower Soup with Almond Balls and Almond Dukkah, an Oven Slow-Cooked Leg of Turkey with Brussels Sprouts with Oranges and oven potatoes. As a vegetarian alternative to the turkey leg I chose an amazing Porcini Risotto Savoy Cabbage “Cake”, which can be served with a nice salad. And for the sweet part: my favorite dessert ever the Yogurt Bomb with Berries. On top of that a delicious Caramelized Walnut Cake.

The soup, the dukkah, the dessert and the cake can be made a day in advance, the turkey leg needs about 4 hours in the oven, but the actual work involved is under 15 minutes. The only things that need to be made shortly before dinner are the sprouts and the potatoes and if you choose to go vegetarian, the risotto cake as well. Although to tell you the truth, when I made the risotto cake for us, we had leftovers which I reheated the next day in the oven, they were just as delicious as the day before… But even if you want to eat that immediately, it will still not take longer than 2 hours to prepare all the veggies and the risotto, and I think 2 hours for a Christmas dinner is fair enough.

Source for the dukkah: Orient Express by Silvena Rowe.

Cauliflower Soup with Almond Balls

Cauliflower Soup with Almond Balls

Cauliflower Soup with Almond Balls

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

A creamy cauliflower soup with almond balls and almond dukkah, a delicious vegetarian starter for the Christmas lunch or dinner.


  • For the soup and balls:
  • 1 kg/ 1.1 lbs cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.2 liter/ 5 cups good quality vegetable stock
  • 40 g/ 1.4 oz/ scant ½ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 60 g/ 2.1 oz/ ½ cup ground almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 125 ml/ ½ cup double cream
  • salt and pepper
  • nutmeg
  • lemon juice
  • parsley
  • For the dukkah:
  • 50g/ 1.7 oz/ 1/3 cup whole almonds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • ½ tablespoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Divide the clean cauliflower into florets and chop the stem into small cubes. Finely chop the onions and the garlic cloves.
  2. In a large soup pot heat the oil and the butter. Cook the onions and garlic until translucent, add the cauliflower, stir well and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Puree the soup and adjust the taste with salt, pepper, nutmeg and some lemon juice.
  4. While the soup is cooking make the almond balls. In a large bowl mix together the dry breadcrumbs, ground almonds, the two whole eggs and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk the remaining egg white and carefully fold into the breadcrumb mixture. Leave the mixture to rest for about 15 minutes.
  5. In the meantime bring a pot of water to a boil. Wet your hands and form the little balls, I had 32 of them.
  6. Add some salt to the cooking water and simmer the balls for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Give the balls to the soup.
  7. In the meantime make the dukkah. Take a small frying pan and toast the almonds without adding any fat, for a few minutes or until fragrant and golden. Stay close all the time and stir or shake the pan very often. Remove the almonds from the pan.
  8. Toast the coriander seeds the same way but for a shorter time, until they are fragrant as well. Give them to the almonds, then toast the cumin seeds, give them to the almonds as well, then toast the fennel seeds. Don't toast them all together, each sort requires another toasting time.
  9. Place all the spices in a small food processor or in a mortar with pestle and grind them roughly. Add olive oil to form a rough paste, which can be swirled into the soup.
  10. Serve the soup with the balls, dukkah and lots of parsley sprinkled on top.

Other Christmas starter ideas:

Sunchoke Soup with Bacon Topping

Sunchoke Soup with Bacon Topping

Zucchini Soup and Soufflés

Zucchini Soup and Souffles

Homemade Fish Stock with Salmon Balls

Homemade Fish Stock with Salmon Balls


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Anca 01/12/2016 - 08:35

Sounds great! I’m torn between something traditional-British or something completely different. My husband would like some Romanian dishes because he likes them, but I would rather try new things. We always have to think and talk about what should I (or we) prepare. 🙂

Chris Scheuer 01/12/2016 - 19:32

I think this would be delicious any day of the year, not just Christmas! I’m like you, I like variety.

Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen 02/12/2016 - 10:46

I guess I can’t wait till Christmas to enjoy this creamy cauliflower soup, because this is making me drool, Adina. 🙂 And those almond balls and almond dukkah sound wonderful. I bet they all taste awesome together.

[email protected]'s Recipes 02/12/2016 - 17:58

Looks creamy and delicious..love those almond balls.

Monica 05/12/2016 - 23:15

I’ve made cauliflower soup, which I love, but never had almond balls. That is such a nice extra special touch.

Kim | Low Carb Maven 06/12/2016 - 18:58

I’m a fan of those delicious looking almond balls. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything like them. I often make creamy cauliflower soup. I’m going to try this version for sure! Adina, since I don’t eat bread, do you think a mild hard cheese would work as a binder in the meatballs? I understand that the texture and flavor will be different, but any bread that I would make would be made from almonds anyway, lol.

Adina 06/12/2016 - 20:33

Cheese is worth a try but I haven’t tried it myself. My grandma used to replace the breadcrumbs in regular meatballs with grated raw potatoes sometimes, also carbs, but better than bread I suppose. And I have used low-fat quark for regular meatballs as well a few times. Let me know if you succeed with the cheese.

amrita 07/12/2016 - 10:03

Season of cauliflower and this soup is the perfect one…

Rosa 21/12/2016 - 07:09

Easy is the way to go when it comes to xmas dinners. Your menu sounds perfect!

Every year on Dec. 24th, my husband’s family makes the same thing: roasted duck in Römertopf, Rotkohl and boiled potatoes with parsley on top. Just like you, I always make something different on Christmas day. Two years ago, I had planned an elaborate meal and bought all the ingredients that I needed on Dec. 23rd. That same evening, my B-I-L called saying that he picked up a 3 kg pork shoulder from a friend of his and he wanted to make it for xmas eve. I couldn’t say no because he had to leave on the 25th. I tried salvaging whatever food I could, but then ended up throwing a lot of it away. The lesson that I learned is that I won’t plan anything ‘in advance’ and wait till the last minute to make a simple meal for xmas. I leave the elaborate meals for Sundays.


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