Sometimes simple is best. There is nothing more gratifying than taking a few simple ingredients and turning them into a healthy flavorful meal. After the all the holiday indulgences, scaling back and eating more consciously and simply gives our bodies a break and chance to recover. This earthy Carrot Soup is seasoned with the deep warming flavors of North Africa. It is topped with Chermoula, a flavorful condiment originating from the northern most countries of Africa -- Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. Chermoula, a blend of olive oil, lemon zest, fresh herbs and spices, adds an unexpected brightness and punch of flavor to the soup. It can be made spicy or kept mild and be sure to save the leftover Chermoula for a tasty marinade for fish, chicken or tofu. This simple soup reminds me so much of how my father used to cook, taking ordinary ingredients, and infusing them with the warm flavors of the Middle East, transforming them into something unexpected and delicious.
Carrot Soup with Chermoula
A healthy, flavorful, earthy Carrot Soup recipe, seasoned with North African Spices and topped with Chermoula.
2 lbs scrubbed carrots- cut into 1/2 inch disks
1/2 an onion- diced
4 garlic cloves-smashed
one apple- cut into wedges
1 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
4 C chicken or veggie stock
2 T butter or olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
chermoula ( see below)
1/4 C sour cream or creme fraiche ( optional)
In a heavy bottom pot, saute onion, cumin seeds and smashed garlic in 2 T butter, on medium high heat until browned and tender, about 6 minutes. Add carrots and apples. Saute on medium heat about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, salt, white pepper, bay leaves and bring to a vigorous simmer. Cover and simmer on med low heat for 30 minutes or until carrots are easily pierced with the tip of a knife.
Puree in small batches in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Place back in the pot and keep warm on low heat until serving.
Served with a dollop of sour cream, or creme fraise and a drizzle of chermoula.
1/2 C cilantro
1/2 C Italian parsley
1 tsp fresh ginger (optional)
1 tsp thyme (optional)
2 garlic cloves
Zest from 1/2 lemon ( about 1 tsp)
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp chili flakes -or more for spicier
3 T olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor.
Prep time: 15 hour Cook time: 30 hour Total time: 45 hour Yield: 4-6