This certainly has been a soup filled autumn. I don’t know how many soups I’ve prepared since the beginning of September, but it’s been quite a few. I don’t post them all here on this blog because some of them are simply “filler” soups, meaning I throw something together and store it in the fridge so I don’t have to cook for a night or two. Those are usually some sort of random vegetable soup.
Today’s soup is an interesting variation of vegetables, combined with a few different flavorful and creatively imagined spices. I would never have thought of combining some of these spices, not because I find something wrong with their combination, but more so because my imagination lacks this type of flair.
Let’s talk about the spices for a moment. This recipe calls for cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper and saffron threads. While I’ll admit that this combination is a tasty one, I really didn’t know what to expect before tasting the final result. I was pleasantly surprised. As far as the rest of the ingredients go, I think they’re fairly basic. The recipe calls for onion, potatoes, celery, carrots, tomatoes, chickpeas and a few other things. So basically, this is an American style vegetable soup with a North African flair. Overall, I’d say it’s pretty good. It didn’t knock my socks off in any which way, but I would recommend it as a “fill me up” soup. There are lots of veggies to do that and the flavors of the spices add a nice something to it.
1 Large Sweet Onion, Chopped
5 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 Large Carrots, Diced
2 Celery Stalks, Diced
14-Ounce Can Chopped Tomatoes
1 Pound Red Potatoes, Diced
5 Saffron Threads
14-Ounce Can Chickpeas, Drained
2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
I’d like to thank Valerie Ferguson for her resource called Vegetarian. I pulled this recipe from her book because I keep going back for more. It’s chock full of goodness.
Simmer the Onion
Add the chopped onion to a large pot and then add in one cup of vegetable broth. Turn the heat on high, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and let things simmer for ten minutes.
Add Carrots & Celery
Add the cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and cayenne pepper to the pot the onions are in. Mix everything together well and continue simmering. After that, add in the carrots and the celery and the remaining vegetable broth. Increase the heat to high, bring the broth to a boil again and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Place a cover on the pot and let everything simmer for five minutes.
Add Remaining Ingredients
At this point, you can go ahead and add in the tomatoes and potatoes and cover the pot again. This time, let things simmer for 20 minutes.
After that, add the saffron, chickpeas, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Season to taste if necessary.
Plate & Serve
Divide the soup between bowls and serve. Sprinkle some additional cilantro on top of the soup if you wish. Enjoy!
The Final North African Spiced Soup
This is what I’d refer to as a hearty soup. Like I said above, it’ll fill you up. I suggest you make a normal batch of it first to see if you like it and then, if you do, make another batch that’s twice as large. There’s nothing wrong with having tons of soup in the refrigerator to last a few nights. If you do decide to give this recipe a try, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below. Thanks for reading!