MOROCCAN CARROT SOUP WITH SPICED CHICKPEA CROUTONS

Cold and crappy weather calls for a big bowl of warm soup.

Taylor and I have been obsessively checking the weather forecast, checking the greenhouse temperature, and even hanging out in the greenhouse with big mugs of coffee early in the morning to keep an eye on our seedlings.  I am constantly waking up in the middle of the night from nightmares of our greenhouse heater shutting off. I guess you could say winter vacation is officially over.

Thank god Henry is ready to tackle the farm season. He seems more eager than we are for a daily routine again. Who needs an alarm clock when Henry is ready to rock and roll at 5 am? Good farm dog! The good news (for Taylor and me at least) is that we get to slowly ease into the season this year. The hardest work is still a couple of weeks away and it feels nice to take things one step at a time right now.

This carrot soup has everything I love. Harissa spice (which if you still haven’t tried I highly recommend!) lovely carrots, a pinch of fresh lime juice, and perfectly crispy chickpeas.  It is a bowl of pure health and the flavor is outstanding. I am going to start making my own harissa spice blend once the three jars that were given to us are gone! It seems like a cinch to make and I will report back once I give it a whirl! Have any of you made homemade harissa yet? If so please share your recipe in the comments!

If it’s chilly and dreary where you grab a spoon and dig into this soup. Enjoy!

MOROCCAN CARROT SOUP WITH SPICED CHICKPEA CROUTONS

PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 30-45 MINUTES    SERVES: 4

  • 1 TBS coconut oil (or oil of choice)
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, diced
  • 1 bunch of carrots (about 1 lb worth) Diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp freshly minced ginger
  • 2 tsp – 2 TBS harissa (depending on the brand the spice level with vary. Start with 2 tsp and add more as you go. We ended up using over 3 TBS worth but we like the heat!)
  • 5 cups vegetable stock (add more if you like a thinner soup)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • Cilantro for garnish

For the Chickpea Croutons

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, if canned rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp coconut oil (or oil of choice)

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the chickpeas with the spices and oil. Place on a prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven until lightly browned and crisp. About 25-30 minutes. Toss halfway through cooking time.
  2. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes stirring often.  Add the garlic, carrots, ginger and harissa (remember to start with less harissa and add more as you taste test). Sauté vegetables for about 3 more minutes. Stir in vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes (or until vegetables are tender)
  3. With an immersion blender (or carefully with a regular blender) Puree the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Taste test and add more harissa if needed.
  4. Serve soup with spiced chickpeas, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and plenty of minced cilantro. Enjoy!

Notes: Use this recipe as a guide. Adjust the measurements and ingredients as necessary. Always taste test as you go.