Fall is finally here! I’ll be welcoming October on the blog this week with plenty of recipes to help you serve the most delicious Thanksgiving feast – whether you’re cooking for two or twenty.
I’m kicking it off today with a meatless Monday post: Moroccan Carrot Soup with Harissa Relish.
I’ve noticed that North African spices like harissa have exploded onto the food scene in the past couple of years. What you used to have to seek out at specialty grocers, you can now find in the “International” aisle of your local Superstore.
I first experimented with harissa back in 2015 when I made the Harissa Chicken Thighs from the Buttermilk volume of the Short Stack Editions. The recipe called for 1/2 cup of harissa paste for 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. For the uninitiated, as I was, that is A LOT of harissa. The recipe should have come with a warning of possible side effects, which in my case included:
- getting more weepy than I did watching the season finale of This Is Us;
- uncontrollable runny nose;
- loss of feeling in your mouth for a week; and,
- spontaneous combustion.
It was HAWT!
So, needless to say, the harissa relish in this recipe does have some kick to it. Word to the wise: make sure you stir it into your soup, along with the yogurt. DO NOT just take a straight mouthful of the relish unless you’d like to experience some of the aforementioned side effects.
This soup is perfect for a brisk fall day. It pairs well with cozy sweaters and a bottle of Gewurtztraminer.
P.S. I did have more luck with other recipes from the Buttermilk volume and other editions in the Short Stack series. They are beautifully designed books, all focused on one main ingredient, and make a charming addition to any cookbook collection. You can buy them locally at Pot & Pantry.
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp caraway seeds
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- ½ cup chopped jarred piquillo peppers
- ¼ tsp finely grated garlic
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 onions chopped
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- 2½ lbs carrots peeled, chopped
- 6 cups vegetable stock preferably homemade
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Plain yogurt and cilantro leaves to garnish
For the harissa relish, place cumin and caraway seeds in small frying pan over medium heat. Toast, shaking pan occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add chili flakes. Toast for 10 seconds. Transfer to plate to cool.
In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind cooled spices. Add to bowl with piquillo peppers, garlic, olive oil and salt. Mix. Transfer to airtight container. (Relish will keep in fridge up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
For the soup, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and just starting to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add spices. Cook 30 seconds. Add carrots and stock. Raise heat to high. When it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until carrots are soft, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a clean pot. Stir in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over a low heat.
Recipe from: Vellend, Eric. "Moroccan Carrot Soup with Harissa Relish and Yogurt." Food & Drink. Autumn 2017, p. .