1 large bulb garlic
EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling plus 5 tablespoons, divided
Salt and pepper
2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
Olive oil spray
1 teaspoon white pepper
About 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
1 large bay leaf
A small bundle of fresh thyme tied with the parsley stems from the salad
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 chunk Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind (optional)
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup cream
For the bruschetta:
1 bunch (1 cup packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 small ribs celery heart with leafy tops, very thinly sliced on a bias
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons capers in brine, drained
Juice of 1 lemon
Crusty white peasant, Italian or country-style bread, sliced 1/4-inch thick and grilled on a panini press or
charred over a flame or under broiler
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Cut the end off of the garlic bulb and drizzle the cloves with EVOO. Season with salt and pepper, and wrap in a foil pouch. Place in oven and roast 45 minutes.
Arrange the cauliflower on a large baking sheet and coat with olive oil spray. Season with salt, black and white pepper, and nutmeg. Roast about 30 minutes until golden and just tender.
Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add onions, bay, herb bundle, salt and pepper, and cook to soften onions, 5-7 minutes. Add wine, let evaporate then add rind, stock and 1 cup water. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
When cool enough to handle, remove garlic from skins and mash them into a paste. Add paste to soup along with the roasted cauliflower, reserving a few small florets for garnish.
Simmer soup 10-15 minutes more.
Combine parsley leaves, celery, red onions and capers in a mixing bowl. Dress with lemon juice and remaining 3 tablespoons EVOO.
Cut toasted or charred bread into small portions and top with salad to let it soak into bread a bit.
Remove herb bundle and rind from the soup then purée it with an immersion blender. Stir in cream and adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve soup garnished with small cauliflower florets and an extra drizzle of EVOO, with parsley salad bruschetta alongside.