A New Fall Favorite–Moroccan-Style Soup
This recipe for Moroccan-Style Soup has become my new favorite fall soup.
Last week I had a bowl of Moroccan soup at the Lodgic Every Day Kitchen in Champaign, Illinois. Oh my was it ever delicious! It was so good that my friend asked for the recipe. She didn’t get the recipe (I might keep it a secret, too, if I were the chef).
But I was determined to come up with a similar version. And my version of Moroccan-Style Soup is close.
The “Can-Opener” Gourmet Soup
I felt like the “Can-Opener” gourmet when I put this batch of Moroccan-Style Soup together.
The soup calls for canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), canned cannellini beans (Italian for white kidney beans), and canned tomatoes.
I used boxed chicken broth since I didn’t have any homemade handy. Canned broth will work, too (just watch the sodium content).
Using vegetable broth instead of chicken makes this soup perfect for vegetarians.
The recipe requires a just a little bit of prep time—chopping the onion and celery and measuring out your spices. But it comes together so beautifully. It’s worth it!
In looking for ideas for my recipe, I learned a lot about Moroccan food.
Most interesting to me is that Moroccan cooking uses four basic spices along with four or five others to amp up the flavor.
The four basics include
The others frequently used include
The Best of the Best in Moroccan Spice
Ras El Hanou is actually a mixture of spices. It means “head of the shop,” meaning it’s the best of the best when it comes to spices.
Ras El Hanou is mostly used as a rub for meat or fish and sometimes mixed into couscous dishes. And it’s a popular ingredient in Moroccan soup.
The mixture often includes turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, anise, cinnamon, and different types of peppers. A variety of spices can be mixed to make the perfect blend.
Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t find Ras el Hanou in my small Central Illinois town. So I googled a substitute.
I found a few recipes where I could make my own. I was time crunched so I passed on doing that.
Then I found a couple of suggestions that would work. Garam masala, a blend used in Indian cooking, and even a mild curry powder were both suggested substitutes.
Since I had some garam masala, on my spice shelf, the decision was easy!
I know, it’s not AUTHENTICALLY Moroccan, but this cook has to improvise sometimes. And the soup still turned out to be “lick-the-bowl-clean” good, making this recipe is a keeper.
Some day I’ll invest in Ras El Hanou, but in the meantime–garam masala or curry powder will be my go-to spice blend.
Hints on buying “unusual” spices
Spices have gotten expensive so it’s super hard for me to justify the cost for just one recipe—especially an experimental one.
Here are a couple of suggestions to save some money on buying a spice you may only use once or twice.
- If you need just a few teaspoons of a spice, find a store that sells them in bulk. Buy only what you need.
- If you can’t find them in sold in bulk, try to buy them in the smallest jar/can you can find.
- Check out international markets. They often have spices at lower costs.
- And last (but maybe not convenient for many) contact me—I probably have it in my pantry.
How to make Moroccan-Style Soup
- Start with a large pot and heat it over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
- Add the olive oil and heat it for about 1 minute.
- Add the onions, carrots and celery. Sauté for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are opaque and vegetables soften.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and the spices. Sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the broth, garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, and diced tomatoes. (Remember to rinse the beans before adding to the pot)
- Turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the garbanzo beans are soft.
- Add the chopped cauliflower. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
- Stir in the chopped spinach. Simmer for just 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted.
- Top with chopped cilantro, to taste, if desired.
Other Fall Favorite Soups
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 cups chicken broth or water
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 1 19-ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- salt, to taste (I like to use 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt or slightly more)
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1 cup spinach, rough chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (if desired)
- Start with a large pot and HEAT it over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
- ADD the olive oil and HEAT for about 1 minute.
- ADD the onion, carrots and celery and SAUTÉ for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are opaque and vegetables soften.
- ADD the garlic, ginger, and the spices. SAUTÉ for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- ADD the broth, garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, and diced tomatoes. Turn up the heat and bring to a BOIL.
- REDUCE heat and SIMMER for about 45 minutes or until the garbanzo beans are soft.
- ADD the chopped cauliflower. SIMMER for an additional 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
- STIR in the chopped spinach. SIMMER for just 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted.
- TOP with chopped cilantro, to taste, before serving (if desired).