- Food & Drink
Morroccan carrot soup
Yet again I am being stalked by carrots. I don’t know how they make it into the house, but they’re creeping in somehow. Every time I open the fridge, another bag of carrots has appeared and is developing a film of condensation and a layer of grey, flaking skin. “See how you’ve failed to eat your five-a-day again,” they whisper. “You are a bad person with a very unbalanced diet. Shame on you.”
There’s only so much hyper critical backchat I can take from the salad drawer before I’m forced to reach for my peeler and pans and set to work.
In spite of the daffodils, fresh spring breezes and longer evenings, it’s still too early in the year to turn the carrots into salad, so I took the flavours of Moroccan carrot salad and turned them into a soup. It’s sweet and gently spicy. The amount of ras el hanout you use will depend on your spice mix. Mine has got a little elderly and is fading elegantly into old age, so I ended up chucking in 2 tsp. If your mix is young, fresh and vigorous, just 1 tsp will do – taste and see.
Moroccan carrot soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
450g carrots, peeled and finely chopped
300g potato, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1–2 tsp ras al hanout
1 tsp harissa paste
11/2 litres hot vegetable stock
Crème fraîche, harissa and fresh coriander leaves, to serve
Place the oil in a pan over a low heat and add the onion. Season and cover with a layer of greaseproof paper. Cover with the lid and sweat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the carrots, potato and garlic, recover with the greaseproof and lid and sweat for a further 15 minutes.
Discard the greaseproof and stir in the ras al hanout and harissa paste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then pour in the hot vegetable stock. Cover, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Ladle into a blender and blitz until smooth or use a hand-held blender and blitz in the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Ladle into warm bowls and top with crème fraîche, a little harissa paste and chopped fresh coriander to serve.