Makes 4 modest bowls
1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into bite-size florets
4 Tb extra virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
4 cups (32 oz) vegetable broth
2 cups whole-grain bread cubes (1/2-inch thick)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 Tb unsalted butter
1 tsp lemon juice, or more if needed
Pinch of ground nutmeg
2 Tb finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until lightly and evenly coated with oil. Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer and sprinkle with salt. Bake until the cauliflower is tender and caramelized on the edges, 25 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway. Leave the oven on.
Meanwhile, once the cauliflower is almost done, in a Dutch oven or soup pot, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and turning translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the broth. Reserve 4 of the prettiest roasted cauliflower florets for garnish, then transfer the cauliflower to the pot. (Reserve the baking sheet for the croutons.) Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, to give the flavors time to meld.
Meanwhile, on the baking sheet, combine the bread cubes and almonds. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss until the mixture is lightly coated. Arrange the mixture in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake until the croutons and almonds are nice and golden on the edges, 7 to 9 minutes, tossing halfway.
Once the soup is done cooking, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender, working in batches if necessary. (Do not fill past the maximum fill line or the soup will overflow!)
Add the butter and blend until smooth. Add the lemon juice and nutmeg and blend again. Taste and add additional salt if necessary (I usually add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) and a little more lemon juice, if it needs more zing. Blend again.
Top individual bowls of soup with 1 roasted cauliflower floret, and a handful of the crouton and almond mixture, and a sprinkle of parsley.