Marrakesh Minestrone

What I really feel like eating right now is piles of these No-Bake Bars but I did a little too much of that on New Years Eve. Instead I thought it might be a smarter idea to find some more healthy recipes to throw your way (and make myself, while I’m at it). I don’t know if you’ve made any New Years Resolutions, but shouldn’t everyone always have a resolution to eat more vegetables?

The Healthy Hedonist is a cookbook I’ve come to like a lot over the past few weeks. Although one recipe turned out really disappointing, this one is definitely a winner. It tastes just like the soup at my favorite Moroccan restarant (okay, actually the only Moroccan restaurant I’ve ever been to, but I love their soup!) and is FULL of good stuff like spinach, tomatoes, bulgur, garbanzo beans, carrots, tomatoes, and all sorts of wonderful spices.

I made a few little changes to the original recipe. It called for couscous, but I used bulgur (which is probably much less authentic but I like it more and I think it might be healthier), and I left out the saffron because there were so many other spices going on (plus saffron is EXPENSIVE!). I bumped up the amount of spinach because it’s just so good for you, and I added some extra red pepper flakes because spice is nice. It might seem like too much extra work to make the cilantro puree, but you can easily whip it up while the soup is simmering, and it adds another amazing layer of flavor.

adapted from The Healthy Hedonist by Myra Kornfeld

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground fennel
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp (or more!) red pepper flakes
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 14.5 ounce can whole tomatoes, with liquid
5 cups water
1 medium potato, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 zucchini, diced
3-4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup bulgar
1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (drained)
2 tsp lemon juice

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat for about a minute. Add the onion, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the onions soften, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes.
Add the garlic, fennel, coriander, red pepper flakes, ginger, and cinnamon and saute until fragrant, two to three minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their liquid, crusing up the tomatoes with a spoon. Let simmer for about ten minutes.
Add the water, potato, carrot, zucchini, and bulgar, cover the pot, and turn the heat up to bring the soup to a boil. Stir in a teaspoon of salt, then turn the heat down and simmer (partially covered) for 15 minutes.
Stir in the spinach and garbanzos and simmer for five minutes.
Add the lemon juice and black pepper, stir, and taste. Add more salt if needed.
To serve, ladle into bowls and top each with about a tablespoon of cilantro puree (below).

Cilantro Puree:
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processer and process until smooth. (A blender will give you a smoother puree, but I like the rustic look the food processer gave me).

5 Responses to “Marrakesh Minestrone”

  1. 1 Woman with a Whisk January 6, 2010 at 6:40 am

    This sounds like a great warm-your-bones recipe, and perfect for the huge bunch of escarole that’s coming in my CSA box this week! Thanks for sharing!

    Oh, and your picture of soup is fantastic! Soup is my photography nemesis.

  2. 2 Cara January 6, 2010 at 7:57 am

    That sounds fantastic, love the spice combination!

  3. 3 Kerstin January 6, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    What a flavorful veggie soup! I love that cilantro puree on top too!

  4. 4 elly January 7, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    This sounds so good with the cardamom and fennel!

  5. 5 Kat February 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight with a few minor changes due to what was available in my pantry. The cilantro purée really made this great! Thank you for sharing.

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