April 27, 2018

Harissa Carrot Soup

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Fancy some creamy soup without a speck of cream? This cumin-scented soup is perfect for vegans but you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy it. Harissa, which is Tunisian spiced chili paste, gives it a kick.

       Carrot soup with a Tunisian accent. Credit: Susan Sampson


2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (60 mL) pine nuts
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped parsley
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) kosher salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 leek (white + light green parts), sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) or more kosher salt
1 tbsp (15 mL) harissa
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground coriander
2 lb (1 kg) carrots, thickly sliced
6 cups (1.5 L) low-sodium vegetable stock
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice

Garnish: In small skillet, heat oil on medium until shimmery. Add nuts. Cook, stirring often, 30 to 60 seconds, until golden brown. Remove from heat. Stir in zest 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Cool 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt.

Soup: In large pan, heat oil on medium until shimmery. Add leek, garlic and 2 tsp (10 mL) salt. Cook, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. (Do not brown.) Stir in harissa, cumin and coriander 10 seconds. Stir in carrots 1 minute. Add stock. Heat on high. When stock comes to boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 40 minutes, or until carrots are very tender.

Purée using blender. Stir in lemon juice. Adjust salt.

Ladle into bowls. Top each serving with small spoonful of garnish.

Makes 8 cups (2 L).