Morroccan carrot

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
Serves 4

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.

Tagged with: SoupVegetarian

7 Responses to Moroccan carrot soup

  1. Linda says:

    Please pardon my ignorance, but where would I find “ras al hanout”? I’m not even sure as to which section of a supermarket or Asian grocer (the only two options available to me) in which to start…

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      It would be in the spice section. It’s a North African spice blend that generally involves cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, chili peppers, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, peppercorn and turmeric and lots more (or less) beside. Barts Spices do one that often appears in large supermarkets.

  2. Luc Martin says:

    I had a problem with carrots creeping into my house. Turned out to be rabbits.

  3. Food Urchin says:

    The condensation only appears because your carrots cry themselves to sleep at night.

    “Why won’t you eat us Jassy? Why?”

    And such nice sounding soup too. Go on, give more of those carrots a home.

  4. Lisa says:

    Yum! I always seem to have many carrots, because Housemate appears to have an aversion to using the ones that I buy, and always buys her own. *shrugs* Maybe she is in league with the Carrot People.

    I love Ras El Hanout. We currently have the Barts one. It’s also very nice mixed half and half with za’atar. Makes for a lovely marinade for a bit of chook.

  5. curlywurlyfi says:

    Ah, the carrot problem. I have it, plus an onion issue also. I am beyond help with the onions, but carrots: roast with chili flakes; grated + made into Asian slaw with red cabbage, or grated + dressed with walnut oil vinaigrette + some chopped parsley for carrotes rapees; or roasted with a bit of stock, lemon chunks + leek logs. And I used to make a thing with grated carrots, sundried tomatoes, coriander + creme fraiche baked in a timbale. All very Josceline Dimbleby.

  6. ginandcrumpets says:

    @Luc Martin Goddamn rabbits

    @Food Urchin Now I feel ever worse about the carrots than I did before!

    @Lisa I love the sound of mixing ras al hanout and za’atar – sounds delicious. Will have to give that a try.

    @curlywurlyfi Your solutions to the carrot problem sound a lot better than mine. Definitely doing the roast with chilli flakes one. That has barbecue salad written all over it.

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