Sunday, February 26, 2012

Moroccan Harissa Soup

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Spiced Moroccan Carrot Soup

I love this spicy rich healthy carrot soup. It tastes exotic, yet is very simple to make.
I put a heart on my bowl of soup because according to 
an IVillage article " Spicy Foods Are Good for Your Heart". 
This recipe calls for a hot Moroccan spice blend called
 - (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.)- 

I didn't use it; it's too hot for me!! 

 Instead I just used the cumin, coriander and garlic. ( spices contain substantial amounts of immune building and anti-inflammatory antioxidants.) The color and flavor is exceptional because freshly ground spices are brilliantly colored, exceptionally fragrant, and bursting with health giving benefits.

It might be good for the heart, and you might really like it, but it's too hot for me. I toned my recipe down somewhat and just used the cumin, coriander, and garlic. I left out the hot peppers and added some white wine( Chardonnay)  for flavor. However, if you like things hot and spicy , you have to try "harissa" . A prepared version can be purchased in a can in most spice shops but you can make it yourself! It is a staple in most Moroccan homes and is used in many of their recipes. 

Here is a link for an authentic  homemade" harissa" recipe posted by 
Katherine Martinelli   on fabulous her blog.

Harissa Recipe

Authentic Homemade Harissa Recipe Katherine Martinelli   

Lots of spices at the Spice Market in Istanbul
Fresh Spice Market in Istanbul, Turkey  (photo from our trip to Turkey in 2010)

Moroccan recipes are not new to me, as I already make a wonderful recipe called  Moroccan Spiced Lemon Carrots which I and everyone I've ever served it to adore ( It's lemony, not hot)  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 to try.

However, I wasn't prepared for how much we would love this soup. My husband and I found it to be exceptional.

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

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 additional TBS olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 large red bell peppers, diced 
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8-10 fresh cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 medium-size carrots, diced
  • 2  russet potatoes, peeled and diced 
  • 6 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup tomato juice or V8 juice
  • 2 1/2 tsp. harissa ( a Moroccan spice made from hot peppers) 
  • Subtitle in place of harissa: 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. In a 6 quart soup pot add olive oil, onion, peppers, and garlic. Sautee on a medium heat for 3-5 minutes stirring frequently until vegetables are soft.    
    2. Add carrots and potato and cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until potatoes begin to become  brownish . Mix in tomato paste and continue to cook for another minute
    3. Add broth, tomato juice, and wine, and harissa. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are soft.
    This soup may be seved chunky or use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
    1. Serve chunky vegetable style ( my favorite) or
    2. 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


    Sometimes I prefer a milder soup, so I will use the wine for flavoring, but I leave out the cumin and coriander. Obviously,  it tastes different, but is very delicious and soothing . I usually eat my soup chunky.

    For an authentic homemade  recipe for harissa,  follow the link to a fabulous blog  by Katherine Martinelli      

    Harissa Recipe
    Authentic Homemade Harissa Recipe Katherine Martinelli   

    Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by. Scroll down to the end of the post and click on comments.


    1. Like you I absolutely adore Moroccan carrots so this soup is definitely calling to me! Thanks for including a link to my harissa recipe as well. This is a perfect use for it and I can't wait to give it a try!

    2. Looks fantastic. I love carrot soup and I love spicy food, so this is a win-win for me.

    3. I love Moroccan flavors and the variety of spices. This soup looks wonderful and I love the little heart on top. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen.

    4. Gorgeous, fragrant, fabulous! Harissa was one of my suggested "Chopped" ingredients, and a little definitely goes a long way ....

    5. Mary,
      Maybe I used too much. It sure it hot! I'll have to try it again with just a little. Thanks for the tip!

    6. Thanks for following me - I've followed you back. You should enter my giveaway...all gluten free. I know some is beef jerky and you are vegetarian, but if you win I'll substitute the prize for one that includes only gluten free granola and bars.

    7. Looks tasty. It's wonderful to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays!

      - The Tablescaper

    8. Mmm- your soup sounds wonderful! I love soups like this because leftovers (if there are any!) can be frozen to be enjoyed another time.

    9. Looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

    10. I tried harissa once but it was way too hot for me! I would enjoy it toned down the way you made it. This sounds really tasty! Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night, look forward to seeing you again soon!

    11. Sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

    12. I love harissa, but I only ever use about a teaspoon in any recipe because it really can be hot! I think your carrot soup sounds lovely - really comforting and delicious with so many wholesome ingredients.

    13. Hi Judee,
      I just love carrots and we would really enjoy this delicious Spiced Carrot Soup. Hope you have a wonderful week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
      Come Back Soon!
      Miz Helen

    14. Oh my goodness I would love this! I love carrot soup and carrot juice too. xo

    15. Looks yummy. Thanks for sharing with Simply Delish.

    16. That looks like wonderful soup! We love spicy.

    17. Mmmm, I love middle eastern dishes. Thanks for sharing it at last week's Allergy-Free Wednesdays. Hope to see you again this week.
      ~AFW Hostesses

    18. It's a kind of soup that I really like
      but I must make it mild and not too spicy :)
      I really like the "heart" - it shows you made this soup with all your heart

    19. It's so colorful, and I love the heart! Thanks for participating in Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

    20. This is a great carrot soup! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome talent with us at Full Plate Thursday,and come back to see us soon!
      Stay Healthy!
      Miz Helen


    Your comments are appreciated. I love knowing who is stopping by to read my posts! Have a great day.