Chunky Moroccan Vegetable Soup

I seem to have developed a bit of a yearning for clean flavours in 2020.  In particular I’ve gone from despising preserved lemons to having a bit of a “moment” with them!  Maybe unusually this soup makes use of them to great effect combining them with tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, chilli and a little cinnamon.  It brings the sunshine of North Africa to what is turning out to be rather a wet and grey January in the UK.

Morrocan Market

The other good news for those who are trying to see off the extra pounds that Christmas invariably means is this soup is actually quite low in calories as well as being a real comfort food.  Add a little less liquid and you could eat it as a stew so it’s quite versatile too.  Make a batch and use extras to have as lunch during the week and bring warmth to January.

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Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 3 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive/rapeseed oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 red chillis, finely chopped (deseeded if you like less heat)
  • 2 preserved lemons, finely chopped and seeds removed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large potato, unpeeled, cut in large dice
  • 400g tin/jar chickpeas
  • 2 very large handfuls washed spinach
  • 1 lemon plus 1 extra for serving if desired

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Method

  1. Put the oil, onion and celery in a large saucepan over a medium heat and sauté for 10 mins until vegetables are soft.
  2. Add, preserved lemon, chilli and garlic to pan and cook for another couple of minutes.
  3. Next add the spices (cumin, turmeric and cinnamon) together with the tomato purée.
  4. After another couple of minutes add potato, chickpeas and tinned tomatoes together with 1.25 litres of boiling water (reduce to 0.75 litres if you want to eat as a stew).   Stir well, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
  5. When potatoes are soft (approx 30mins depending on how large you cut them) add the handfuls of spinach and stir for about a minute until wilted.
  6. Add the juice of a lemon, stir and season to taste
  7. Serve in bowls with a wedge of lemon for squeezing if desired.

 

 

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