Moroccan Carrot Soup
This soup was inspired by Moroccan carrot salad, an essential part of every Sephardic mezze spread and, ironically, my mom’s very Ashkenazi Shabbat table. With garlic and cumin, the bold flavors are offset with fresh lemon and spicy harissa, making it light and fresh—and as one of the recipe testers attested, the sourdough gremolata deserves its own feature. It’s that good!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 pounds carrots (approximately 6 large), peeled, trimmed, and cut into medium chunks
6 cups vegetable stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Smoky Harissa
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Labneh or Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)
Schug, for serving (optional)
Toasted Sourdough Gremolata
2 slices stale sourdough (approximately 5 ounces), cut into 2-inch chunks
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed or ½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of ½ lemon
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, or a mix
Kosher salt to taste
1 To make the soup: In a 6-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cumin and sauté for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the carrots, stock, salt, and pepper and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook 20 to 25 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
2 Purée the soup with an immersion blender or in a stand blender until smooth and creamy.
Add the harissa and lemon juice and stir to incorporate. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
3 To prepare the gremolata: In a food processor fitted with the S blade or blender, pulse the sourdough to make coarse crumbs. In a 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the sourdough crumbs and cumin and fry for 5 minutes, stirring often, or until the crumbs are deeply golden and crunchy. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic, lemon zest, herbs, and salt.
4 To serve, divide the soup among bowls and sprinkle the gremolata over the tops of each bowl. If desired, add a dollop of labneh and Schug.