Moroccan Chermoula and Carrot Soup
Serves 2 – 3
Well-spiced Carrot Soup is delicious on its own, but the addition of Chermoula, one of Morocco’s classic sauces, turns it into something special. Fresh parsley and cilantro in the sauce set off the soup’s deep richness. Mixed together, the components come together to form an entirely new, and wonderfully complex, single flavor. I make Chermoula while the soup is simmering, which means the entire recipe takes less than an hour from start to serving. It’s hard to have too much Chermoula – I double or triple the recipe whenever I make it. I use extra Chermoula to top grilled salmon, halibut, or chicken, or to add flavor to salads. The easiest way to peel ginger is to scrape off the peel with the edge of a teaspoon. To mince peeled ginger, cut it across the grain into thin slices and whack each slice with a meat pounder. The slices break up into small pieces; if you prefer a finer mince, chop up the small pieces with a chef’s knife.
3 cups diced onion, 3/4” dice
1 cup diced leek, white and light green parts only, 3/4” dice
3 cups diced carrots, 3/4” dice (1 pound)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 tsp. freshly ground cumin
1 tsp. freshly ground coriander seed
1 tsp. paprika
4 – 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
1/2 tsp. freshly ground cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. harissa or 1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Make Soup: In a pot large enough to hold all the soup, sauté onion, leek, and carrots, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, in olive oil until onions soften and start to turn golden. Stir in ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, and paprika, and cook for 1 minute. Add 4 cups of stock, bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Puree soup until it’s smooth in blender (or using immersion blender). Add stock as necessary until soup is the thickness you prefer. Taste and add salt, if needed.
Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with Chermoula before serving. If there is extra Chermoula, serve it on the side so diners can add more, as desired.
Make Chermoula: Place all ingredients into blender and puree until very smooth. The sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, but should be brought to room temperature before serving.