Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Moroccan Spiced Carrot Soup


This rich Moroccan spiced carrot soup calls for a hot Moroccan spice blend called "harissa" 
 which is a pasty combination of hot chili, cumin, coriander, garlic and other spices typically used in North African cooking in countries like Morocco, Algeria,and Tunisia. 

You might really like it, but it's too hot for me. I toned my recipe down and just used the cumin, coriander, and garlic, but I left out the hot peppers and added some white wine( Chardonnay)  for flavor. If you do want to use authentic "harissa" it can be purchased in a can in most spice shops or scroll down to the end of this post for a link to an authentic  homemade" harissa" recipe posted by Katherine Martinelli on her fabulous blog.

Cumin, coriander and garlic are some of my favorites spices, partly because they taste so good and partly because they are so good for you. Freshly ground spices are brilliantly colored, exceptionally fragrant, and bursting with healthy antioxidants.

Moroccan recipes are not new to me, as I already make a wonderful recipe called  Moroccan Spiced Lemon Carrots which I adore. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I found this recipe in Vegetarian Times  for Moroccan Spiced Carrot Soup . I knew it was something we would love.

However, I never would have guessed how much we would love it. It is exceptional.

 I adapted the recipe somewhat. So, the recipe that follows is my version.

                         Fresh Spice Market in Istanbul, Turkey  (pic from our trip to Turkey in 2010)

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS. butter (I use organic)
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 large red bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 TBS  tomato paste
  • 8-10 fresh cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 medium-size carrots, diced
  • 2  russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth ( I  used Pacific Brand Organic)
  • 1 cup low sodium tomato juice or V8 juice
  • 2 1/2 tsp. harissa ( optional if you like things hot! ) or just select the next spices 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 cup white wine optional  ( the alcohol will cook out completely but imparts a nice flavor )

  • Directions

    1. Melt butter and olive oil in large soup pan over medium heat. Add onions, peppers and garlic, and saute 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft, stirring often.  
    2. Add carrots and potato and cook 4 to 5 minutes more, or until potatoes begin to become  brownish . 
    3. Add tomato paste and stir through all the vegetables and stir and cook a little more
    4. Add broth, tomato juice, and wine, harissa if using it or cumin and coriander. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are soft.
    5. Serve chunky vegetable style ( my favorite) or
    6. Transfer mixture in small batches to blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender, and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    7. Garnish with Greek Yogurt.. ( I put it in a zip loc bag and snipped the end. Then I squeezed it into a heart  design onto the soup)
    The soup is good blended or not! Have it your way!


    I sometimes want a milder soup, so I  eat this soup chunky, made with white wine and leaveout  the cumin and coriander. It tastes different, but still really good.

    For an authentic homemade  recipe for harissa,  visit a fabulous blog  by Kathernine Martinelli      
    Harissa Recipe
    Authentic Homemade Harissa Recipe

    This will also be shared on SouperSundays

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