If there was ever a definition for “tasty and easy soup” then this would be it. Sweet, spicy and smoky, today I am sharing a carrot soup with a twist.
The weather here in Yorkshire has been a little weird recently. Overall it’s still pretty warm for this time of year but the temperature just keeps going up and down throughout the day. Also, one moment it’s sunny with no clouds in sight, the next it’s raining. Grrrr – which makes it a real nightmare to decide what to wear but that’s another story…
Anyway, now that the temperatures are dropping a little and the days are getting shorter, I’m finding myself craving more and more hot food. I pretty much survived all summer on salads and other cold dishes so I guess this is my body telling me it needs something a little more comforting.
I messed up a little when placing my grocery order online and found myself with 2kg of carrots instead of 2 carrots. For someone who works online it was indeed a massive fail but, looking at the bright side, it did give me the opportunity to play in the kitchen and try out a new carrot soup recipe.
Now, harissa – one of my favourite cooking ingredients in the whole world. If you’re not familiar with this food of the Gods, it’s basically a hot chilli pepper and spice paste typical of North African cuisine. It’s often used to spice up tagines but, seriously, I believe I have tried it with pretty much everything from soups and roasted vegetables to sandwiches and pasta. Or as a salad dressing. Or to flavour veggie burgers. Yes, I am so obsessed I could go on forever.
So.. huge amount of carrots in the fridge. Favourite chilli and spice blend. A nice base of onion and celery. The result is an amazingly rich and warming soup just perfect for this season.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped finely
- 1 4cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp harissa paste
- 1kg carrots, roughly chopped
- 2l hot vegetable stock
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh coriander to serve
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan then add the onion, the celery and the grated ginger. Cook together for 2 minutes stirring often.
- Add the ground coriander and the harissa. Cook for approximately 1 minute to allow the spices to release their aromas.
- Tip in the carrots and stir to coat. Then pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes until the carrots are soft.
- Whizz the soup using a hand blender to the desired consistency, season to taste and finish with a sprinkle of fresh chopped coriander. Serve with toast, fresh crusty bread or crispbreads.
Is there a particular spice or spice mix you love and keep using time and time again? Surely I’m not the only one with a spice obsession?