Moroccan butternut and chickpea soup

I dreamt up this soup on a miserable rainy day a couple of weeks ago, and now it’s the first thing I crave when the weather turns horrible. It’s a really filling, warming soup, spiked with Moroccan spices and chilli. It’s really good with salty feta crumbled on top and served with toasted, buttered rye bread.

moroccan soup

Serves 4

  • 1 kg of peeled, chopped butternut
  • 1 onion, chopped roughly
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of harissa pasta
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed ginger
  • Half a cup of red split lentils, rinsed well
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 tin of chopped, peeled tomotoes
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped roughly
  • Tumeric
  • Cumin seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Chilli flakes
  • Fresh coriander leaves and some feta, to serve
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable stock powder

Fry the onion in a bit of oil until it starts to soften. Add the harissa paste, garlic, ginger and a sprinkle of tumeric, cinnamon and cumin seeds. Fry until the spices become fragrant. Add the carrots, butternut and the tin of tomatoes. Fill up the empty tin with water and add that too, along with the stock powder. Turn the heat up to high. Let the soup boil for about 10 minutes, and then add the lentils. Keep it on a high heat, and stir occasionally. Once the butternut starts getting mushy, squish it and stir into the soup. The soup is ready when the butternut has melted into the liquid. Add the chickpeas and a pinch of chilli flakes if you like. Serve the soup with crumbled feta and coriander leaves.

Sweet potato and vegetable soup

I’ve got a cold and it’s turned autumnal and chilly in Cape Town – it’s time for soup. As much as I am a summer person, I’ve kind of been looking forward to the arrival of winter just so that I can make yummy wintery soups that simmer away on the stove for hours and fill the house with soupy wholesomeness. I’ve been sick with a cold for a few days and I’ve been craving hearty vegetable soup but been too lazy to cook, so I’ve had ready-made packet soups, which really don’t live up to the real thing. This soup really hit the spot, and it couldn’t have been easier to make. This makes a massive soup, which is great if you don’t have time for cooking on weeknights. Make it on Sunday afternoon, and you’ll have soup for the rest of the week.

Sweet potato and veggie soup

  • 1 onion
  • 5 sticks of celery
  • 6 carrots
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • Two handfuls fresh Italian flat-leaved parsley
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 70 g tomato paste
  • 5 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 kg sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into big chunks
  • 250 g soup mix (I used Woolies’ soup mix of pearl barley, green lentils, red split peas and green split peas)

To make this easier for myself, I blitzed the onion, celery, carrots and a handful of parsley in the food processor. If you don’t have a food processor though, just chop them all into small pieces. Fry gently in a slug of olive oil for a couple of minutes, and then add the garlic. Fry for a couple more minutes until everything starts to go a bit soft. Add the tin of tomatoes, the tomato paste and about a litre and a half of hot water, along with the veg stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat, simmer and put the lid on. Cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking on water levels. If it starts getting a bit thick, just add more hot water. Add the sweet potatoes along with about two cups of hot water and put the lid back on, keeping the soup on a simmer. Cook for a further 20 minutes or so, until the potatoes are just cooked (don’t overcook them as you don’t want them to get mushy). Stir in a handful of chopped parsley and the chilli flakes and serve with lots of ground black pepper.