Moroccan Carrot Soup

This is my favorite soup recipe. Ever. I discovered it in Vegetarian Times when I was a vegetarian and living in Boulder, CO (fitting, I know). But more than anything, this soup reminds me of snowy afternoons in Boston. A whole pot would feed me for a good five days. As a graduate student, I’d stock up on bread, butter, greens, coffee and milk, plenty of tea, and a chocolate bar and I could hibernate for quite some time. The smell of the fennel seeds cooking in olive oil brings me right back to my pink-tiled Brookline kitchen. I’d sit at the bay windows, looking out at elderly Russian women in vibrant silk scarves pushing their shopping carts back from the corner grocery store, and college kids with backpacks and arms of books racing to catch the bus. I’ll always equate the smell of this soup with that light-filled pink kitchen, fallen leaves whipping by the windows, and the fading Eastern afternoon light.

This soup is extremely easy. Essentially, you just simmer all of the ingredients in vegetable broth and process with an immersion blender or food processor at the very end. I like to serve it with warm whole-wheat pita, goat cheese or brie (Cowgirl Creamery’s triple cream is my new favorite), olives, and a little prosciutto.


Moroccan Carrot Soup

Moroccan Carrot Soup

  • Yield: 6
  • Prep time: 15 mins
  • Cook time: 35 mins
  • Total time: 50 mins

Adapted from: Vegetarian Times

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 1/4 lbs. carrot, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (1 large or 2 medium)
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
6 cups cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. long grain white rice
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. coriander
1 bay leaf
Fresh lemon juice
Flat-leaf parsley sprigs, for garnish

Instructions

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add fennel seeds and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1-2  minutes. Next, add sweet potatoes, carrots, and apple and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Add broth, rice, curry powder, coriander, and bay leaf.

After all of the ingredients have been added, bring mixture to a very low boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf and puree soup in batches in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Add lemon juice, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley.

Comments

  1. El

    I love how rich and creamy this soup looks. Perfect for autumn!

  2. Chez Danisse

    I love the story and your soup recipe looks quite tasty.

  3. Sophie

    A true tasty soup!!

    Looks very pretty too! MMMMMMMMM,...

  4. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite

    Ummm... can I come over to dinner? Like RIGHT NOW? That looks like my idea of a perfect meal and I can totally relate to your "hibernation" grocery list - sounds similar to mine when I was a poor teacher in Paris!!! I'll be making this soup soon.

  5. Kelsey B.

    great soup! Ah, yes, snowy boston..

  6. Jamie

    Our favorite soup is a wonderful Moroccan harira (lamb and chickpeas) so I'll bet this soup is fabulous and I must try it! Simple is often the tastiest!

  7. Anne

    Totally going to try this soup. Thank you. I also loved visiting your place in Boston just now. Thanks for taking me there to hibernate for a minute.

  8. Ellie

    Making this now. A perfect soup for a cold rainy fall day in PA

  9. Sheri

    I tried it and it's very good--very rich. It will be a nice addition to our Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing it!

  10. Lauren

    Can't wait to make try this recipe for dinner this week!

  11. Nakita

    I made this soup and the taste was good but the consistency was watery (or rather, it was not hearty looking like the picture). I followed the recipe exactly but it wasn't like the picture. Maybe too much liquid? Or should the lid be tilted to let some of the liquid evaporate out?

    1. megang

      Hi Nakita. Gosh, I'm so sorry the soup turned out a touch watery for you. I usually have the opposite problem, actually, so I'm surprised to hear. Yes, next time: uncover it a little to let some of the moisture cook off. I think this would help you. And perhaps use a bit less cooking liquid, too. Let me know how it turns out. Enjoy your week! ~mg

  12. Anne

    Your first paragraph sent me back to my youth. I now live on the West Coast and the description of fading Eastern light, well, there is nothing quite like it. Occasionally we will have a particularly grey day and the light will look similar, but never quite comes close to the dim tone bouncing off industrial brick. Weird, isn't it? How can someone miss light?

    But only one chocolate bar?

  13. Kathy

    Another winner! However, I think my effort would have been even better if the curry I used was not that which my husband brought into our marriage 17 years ago; lord knows how long he had it before then :). Some day I'll convince him that a Costco oregano, just because it was cheaper by volume, isn't necessarily a great deal with respect to flavor.

    Love that this soup is so creamy with no cream!

Join the Discussion

Winter Comfort Food

Winter Morning Porridge

Winter Morning Porridge

I intended on baking holiday cookies to share with you today, but when I sat down to brainstorm all I could think about, truly, was the morning porridge I've been making and how that's really what I wanted to send you away with. The holiday season always seems to zoom on by at its own clip with little regard for how most of us wish it would just slow down, and this year feels like no exception. We got our tree last week and I've been making a point to sit in the living room and admire the twinkle as much as possible. I have lofty goals of snowflakes and gingerbread men and stringing cranberries and popcorn, but I'm also trying to get comfortable with the fact that everything may not get done, and that sitting amongst the twinkle is really the most important. That and a warm breakfast before the day spins into gear. This multi-grain porridge has proved to be a saving grace on busy weekday mornings, and it reheats beautifully so I've been making a big pot and bringing it to work with some extra chopped almonds and fresh pomegranate seeds. While cookies are certainly on the horizon, I think I'll have this recipe to thank for getting us through the busy days ahead. 

Read More
Minestrone Verde with White Beans and Pesto

Minestrone Verde with White Beans and Pesto

We returned home from San Francisco on New Years Eve just in time for dinner, and craving greens -- or anything other than baked goods and pizza (ohhhh San Francisco, how I love your bakeries. And citrus. And winter sunshine).  Instead of driving straight home, we stopped at our co-op where I ran in for some arugula, an avocado, a bottle of Prosecco, and for the checkout guys to not-so-subtly mock the outlook of our New Years Eve: rousing party, eh? They looked to be in their mid-twenties and I figured I probably looked ancient to them, sad even. But really, there wasn't much sad (or rousing, to be fair) about our evening: putting Oliver to bed, opening up holiday cards and hanging them in the kitchen, and toasting the New Year with arugula, half a quesadilla and sparkling wine. It wasn't lavish. But it's what we both needed. (Or at least what we had to work with.) Since then, I've been more inspired to cook lots of "real" food versus all of the treats and appetizers and snacks the holidays always bring on. I made Julia Turshen's curried red lentils for the millionth time, a wintry whole grain salad with tuna and fennel, roasted potatoes, and this simple green minestrone that I've taken for lunch this week. Determined to fit as many seasonal vegetables into a bowl as humanly possible, I spooned a colorful pesto on top, as much for the reminder of warmer days to come as for the accent in the soup (and for the enjoyment later of slathering the leftover pesto on crusty bread).

Read More
Curried Cauliflower Couscous with Chickpeas and Chard

Curried Cauliflower Couscous with Chickpeas and Chard

If I asked you about what you like to cook at home when the week gets busy, I'm willing to bet it might be something simple. While there are countless websites and blogs and innumerable resources to find any kind of recipe we may crave, it's often the simple, repetitive dishes that we've either grown up with or come to love that call to us when cooking (or life in general) seems overwhelming or when we're feeling depleted. While my go-to is typically breakfast burritos or whole grain bowls, this Curried Cauliflower Couscous with Chickpeas and Chard would make one very fine, very doable house meal on rotation. The adaptations are endless, and its made from largely pantry ingredients. I never thought I'd hop on the cauliflower "rice" bandwagon, but I have to say after making it a few times, I get the hype. 

Read More
Thai Carrot, Coconut and Cauliflower Soup

Thai Carrot, Coconut and Cauliflower Soup

People describe raising young kids as a particular season in life. I hadn't heard this until we had a baby, but it brought me a lot of comfort when I'd start to let my mind wander, late at night between feedings, to fears that we'd never travel internationally again or have a sit-down meal in our dining room. Would I ever eat a cardamom bun in Sweden? Soak in Iceland? I loved the heck out of our tiny Oliver, but man what had we done?! Friends would swoop in and reassure us that this was just a season, a blip in the big picture of it all. They promised we'd likely not even remember walking around the house in circles singing made-up songs while eating freezer burritos at odd hours of the day (or night). And it's true.

Oliver is turning two next month, and those all-encompassing baby days feel like a different time, a different Us. In many ways, dare I say it, Toddlerhood actually feels a bit harder. Lately Oliver has become extremely opinionated about what he will and will not wear -- and he enforces these opinions with fervor. Don't get near the kid with a button-down shirt. This week at least. He's obsessed with his rain boots and if it were up to him, he'd keep them on at all times, especially during meals. He insists on ketchup with everything (I created a damn monster), has learned the word "trash" and insists on throwing found items away on his own that really, truly are not trash. I came to pick him up from daycare the other day and he was randomly wearing a bike helmet -- his teacher mentioned he'd had it on most of the day and really, really didn't want to take it off. The kid has FEELINGS. I love that about him, and wouldn't want it any other way. But, man it's also exhausting.

Read More
Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche Tart with a Cornmeal Millet Crust

Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche Tart with a Cornmeal Millet Crust

It's been a uniformly gray and rainy week in Seattle, and I'd planned on making a big pot of salmon chowder to have for the weekend, but then the new issue of Bon Appetit landed on my doorstep with that inviting "Pies for Dinner" cover, and I started to think about how long it's been since I made my very favorite recipe from my cookbook, Whole Grain Mornings. I'm often asked at book events which recipe I love most, and it's a tough one to answer because I have favorites for different moods or occasions, but I'd say that this savory tart is right up there. The cornmeal millet crust is one of my party tricks; when we need a quick brunch recipe, this is what I pull out of my back pocket because it's so simple and delicious. This is a no-roll, no fuss crust with a slightly sandy, crumbly texture thanks to the cornmeal, and a delightful crunch from the millet. In the past, I've used the crust and custard recipe as the base for any number of fillings: on The Kitchn last year, I did a version with greens and gruyere, and I teach cooking classes that often include a version heavy on local mushrooms and shallot. So if you are not keen on salmon or have some vegetables you're looking to use up this week, feel free to fold in whatever is inspiring you right now. Sometimes at this point in winter that can be hard, so hopefully this recipe may help a little. 

Read More