Foodie Ishay Govender-Ypma shares one of her favourite winter warmer recipes from her blog, Food and the Fabulous: This Spiced Moroccan Vegetable Soup recipe forms part of my North African Odyssey, and a nod to our travels in Morocco and the early days, a few short months ago when I thought it perfectly acceptable to blog an entire feast in one post! It’s a simple, warming combination of flavours that I go back to, without fail, every winter. It’s virtually fat free and a healthy recipe you can adjust according to the vegetables and spices you have at hand. I promised to provide a few pictures a little more suited to the soup and this past weekend, I took a bowl of it outside into the courtyard which was initially meant to be French inspired and somehow got translated into French-Moroccan – the courtyard that is, not the soup. We were fortunate to enjoy wonderful sunshine this weekend, so a bit of gardening got done too. I love this space and am surprised I never thought of utilising it before. Thank you PlatetoPage for the friendly nudge in the right direction! A series of pics, after the ‘before’ shot… As you can see, the picture was taken in my pre-editing and simple styling days. It’s pretty difficult to make soup look appealing, but as I’m certain I will make this soon, I plan to take a prettier picture. This is also the soup that has gotten my brother-who-doesn’t-eat-veggies to savour every spoonful and ask for seconds! The cumin, cinnamon and ginger make this simple vegetable soup a stand out. I make this at least once a week during Winter, varying the ingredients and spices slightly. Tip: Add 3/4 t harissa paste (available at many supermarkets and delis) to 100ml creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt, mix well and serve a spoonful on top of the soup.
Ingredients 800 g mixed diced seasonal vegetables (I used carrots, butternut, leeks and celery) 2 tbsp onion, finely chopped 2 tsp grated ginger 2 x bay leaves 2 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 cups water 1/4 tsp fish sauce* (my secret ingredient) 2 tsp hot English mustard powder 1 salad onion snipped, to garnish salt 1 tbsp olive oil * Fish sauce may sound like an odd ingredient to add, but I find it adds wonderful depth of flavour to soups and stews. In this tiny quantity it does its job, without detection. Do mind it doesn’t get onto your fingers and if so you will want to wash well, immediately! If you omit the fish sauce, the soup is purely vegetarian.
Method Fry onions in olive oil in a (teflon coated) saucepan or pot, wide and deep enough to make a soup in. Add bay leaves and vegetables. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the salad onions. Cook on medium heat until softened, for approximately 40 minutes. Replenish with water as needed. Remove from heat. Remove bay leaves and blend with a stick blender or in a processor until smooth but with a hint of nubly character. Add more water to thin if necessary and adjust seasoning. Serve with snipped salad onions sprinkled on top and crusty bread or naan. I added creme fraiche, chopped bacon and parsley to this one- it’s purely optional.