Let’s play a game. It’s called, What’s your favorite food? Okay, you ask me first and I’ll answer you. Truthfully. Go ahead…
Hey, Happelsauce! What’s your favorite food?
Oh, hey! You want to know my favorite food? Funny you should ask. I was just thinking about that. And you know what? I’ve got my answer. It’s soup.
Soup! It is humble yet fundamentally diverse – a celebration of varied flavors and textures. It is comfort in a bowl. It is a happy experiment of spice combinations. Plus, you can eat it with a spoon. And, I like anything I can eat with a spoon.
After soup, I’d put sauces as a close second. You know – salsas, chutneys, nuoc cham, caramel – to name a few. Then third place goes to nibbly things like nuts, olives, chips (kale, tortilla, potato…the list goes on) and crackers.
This recipe that I’ve got for you has ALL THREE. It’s a carrot soup topped with a tahini lemon saucy drizzle and crispy, herbed nibbly crisps. I made a large pot last week and ate it everyday for five days straight. I scraped each bowl clean. Sometimes, when no one was looking, I licked the bowl. My spoon was rendered useless.
Like any soup recipe, you should feel free to tinker. The best thing about it (or any pureed soup, for that matter) is that you don’t need think twice about perfectly dicing or peeling or slicing your ingredients. You’re going to puree it all in the end! Who cares! Full disclosure: I didn’t even peel the carrots, let alone dice them like the original recipe called for. And you know what? This soup was utterly satisfying exactly as it was. It will be for you too.
Moroccan Carrot Soup with Tahini Drizzle and Za’atar Crisps
Serves 4 – 6
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds carrots, chopped
6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
Harissa or red pepper flakes, to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons tahini paste
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch or two of sea salt
2 tablespoons water
A few large pitas, torn into bite-sized pieces or good bread, sliced into 1-inch squares
1 tablespoon olive oil
Za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice-herb blend) and sea salt (or if you don’t have za’atar, then try sesame seeds and salt), to sprinkle
Parsley, coarsely chopped
Heat two tablespoons olive oil in heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, garlic, coriander, cumin, salt and harissa or pepper flakes and sauté until they begin to brown, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss bread with olive oil, sea salt and za’atar until they’re coated. Spread them on a baking sheet or pan and roast them in the oven until they’re browned and crisp. Toss them occasionally to make sure they’re toasting evenly.
Once vegetables have begun to brown, add broth, using it to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cover pot with lid and simmer until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small dish, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, salt and water until smooth with a yogurt-like consistency. If more liquid is needed to thin it, you can add more lemon juice or water, a spoonful at a time, until you get your desired consistency.
Puree soup with an immersion blender (or in a blender) until smooth. Ladle into bowls. Drizzle each with lemon-tahini sauce and top with a handful of crisps, then garnish with chopped parsley.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite food? Any recipe ideas we should try here on Happelsauce? Do tell.