Spiced Moroccan Vegetable Soup

served here with creme fraiche and bacon bits

warm your heart with this soup

This Spiced Moroccan Vegetable Soup recipe forms part of my North African Odyssey, and a nod to our travels in Morocco and the early days, a few short months ago when I thought it perfectly acceptable to blog an entire feast in one post! It’s a simple, warming combination of flavours that I go back to, without fail, every winter. It’s virtually fat free and a healthy recipe you can adjust according to the vegetables and spices you have at hand.

I promised to provide a few pictures a little more suited to the soup and this past weekend, I took a bowl of it outside into the courtyard which was initially meant to be French inspired and somehow got translated into French- Moroccan- the courtyard that is, not the soup. We were fortunate to enjoy wonderful sunshine this weekend, so a bit of gardening got done too. I love this space and am surprised I never thought of utilising it before. Thank you PlatetoPage for the friendly nudge in the right direction! A series of pics, after the ‘before’ shot…

As you can see, the picture was taken in my pre-editing and simple styling days. It’s pretty difficult to make soup look appealing, but as I’m certain I will make this soon, I plan to take a prettier picture. This is also the soup that has gotten my brother-who-doesn’t-eat-veggies to savour every spoonful and ask for seconds!

The cumin, cinnamon and ginger make this simple vegetable soup a stand out. I make this at least once a week during Winter, varying the ingredients and spices slightly.

 *Add 3/4 t harissa paste (available at many supermarkets and delis) to 100ml creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt, mix well and

                                             serve a spoonful on top of the soup *

the before picture

Ingredients

800 g mixed diced seasonal vegetables (I used carrots, butternut, leeks and celery)
2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
2 tsp grated ginger
2 x bay leaves
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups water
1/4 tsp fish sauce* (my secret ingredient)
2 tsp hot English mustard powder
1 salad onion snipped, to garnish
salt
1 tbsp olive oil

*Fish sauce may sound like an odd ingredient to add, but I find it adds wonderful depth of flavour to soups and stews. In this tiny quantity it does its job, without detection. Do mind it doesn’t get onto your fingers and if so you will want to wash well, immediately!

If you omit the fish sauce, the soup is purely vegetarian.*

Method

Fry onions in olive oil in a (teflon coated) saucepan or pot, wide and deep enough to make a soup in.
Add bay leaves and vegetables. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the salad onions.
Cook on medium heat until softened, for approximately 40 minutes. Replenish with water as needed. Remove from heat.
Remove bay leaves and blend with a stick blender or in a processor until smooth but with a hint of nubly character. Add more water to thin if necessary and adjust seasoning.

Serve with snipped salad onions sprinkled on top and crusty bread or naan.  I added creme fraiche, chopped bacon and parsley to this one- it’s purely optional.


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10 Comments

  1. Kungfukitty on 07 June 2011

    I’m totally going to try this! Yum!

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  2. Jeanne @ CookSister on 08 June 2011

    Mmm, this sounds fabulous! Love the combo of flavours here (and yes, soup is bloody difficult to make look appetising in a photo – especially when it is BROWN – LOL! But I don’t judge a book by its cover ;)

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  3. Hennie @ batonage on 13 June 2011

    Geez dude, that looks awesome. Will definitely need to try that! (along with the other myriad of recipes on here that I’ve been meaning to try!)

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  4. Ming-Cheau Lin on 14 June 2011

    Looks delicious lady, is there still some left at your house? :P

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  5. Gata on 14 June 2011

    the chair is lovely! :)

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  6. ishay on 14 June 2011

    @Ping- hope you make the soup-so easy. Add bit of paprika instead of mustard for heat.
    @jeanne thank goodnes for that!
    @Hennie- thanks Dude!Come round, I’ll make it for you, probably quicker ;-P
    @Minglet Too late, but hope you come round soon anyway
    @Gata- Thanks! – a Dutch antique we picked up for a song in Natal Midlands. Sigh, if only bargains like that were available everyday…

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  7. nina on 15 June 2011

    Ishay darling, great recipe and the 3rd last photos is my personal fav. P2P is shining through!!

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  8. ishay on 15 June 2011

    @Nina- means the world to me that you’ve read this post and I’m working on understanding the camera. Long, long way yet. You’re an inspiration lady! x

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  9. David on 16 June 2014

    I have had Moroccan vegetable twice
    now, beautiful !! , but i seem to have an
    allergy to one of the herbs or spices !.
    I wondered if you could throw some
    light on this ?
    David

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  10. Ishay on 27 June 2014

    Hi David. Out of my depth here, I’m afraid. Something in the ras-el-hanout?

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