Carrot Soup with North African Spices

On winter days we love to make big batches of soup to put in the freezer for future lunches.  One of our favorites is Annie Somerville’s Carrot Soup with North African Spices from her Fields of Greens cookbook.  While this is a vegetarian cookbook, we have altered this recipe by using chicken broth.

I absolutely love this book.  I have had it since 1993 when I was a senior in college looking for books to enhance my meager cookbook collection.  Having made several of the recipes, my very favorite can be found on page one hundred and fourteen, which, in my book, is stained and torn from the numerous times I’ve made this recipe. I think the stars of this soup are the cumin and coriander seeds. They add a lovely warmth to the sweet carrots. In our version we swap out homemade chicken stock for the vegetable stock and usually add a good handful of crumbled bacon on top at the end.


1 Medium Sized Onion, Sliced.

2 Garlic Cloves, chopped.

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated.

2 pounds carrots, thinly sliced.

1 medium sized potato (sweet or white), thinly sliced.

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin & coriander seeds toasted and ground.

5 cups of homemade chicken broth, kept warm in a separate pot

Olive oil, cayenne pepper, salt & black pepper to taste

Sour cream, bacon, cilantro or thyme for garnish.


We always begin by prepping the ingredients to make cooking easier.

Once ready, heat a good glug of olive oil in the bottom of a heavy stock pot.

Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook down for about five minutes until the onions take on a golden hue.

Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander and cayenne and continue to cook for about two minutes over low heat. If this begins to stick to the pot add a tiny spoonful of broth.

Add carrots, potato and half of the chicken broth. Bring to a slight boil and then place the lid on top and cook for about twenty minutes or until the carrots and potato are soft.

Add the remainder of the stock and emulsify with a hand emulsifier or blend in blender. We like to use the hand held emulsifier to keep clean up easier. You can add a splash of orange juice at the very end to intensify the flavor. If you like your soup on the thick side add a little less stock.

Serve and garnish with thyme, bacon, sour cream or cilantro.