Garlic Soup With Harissa




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I have a video on Instagram and my website demonstrating the best way to peel garlic.  It’s so easy and so much fun, I just had to come up with a recipe for all of you to practice this technique.  Garlic soup hit the spot, as the recipe includes 28 cloves of garlic, peeled! It sounds daunting, but I promise,  with this technique, it will take you no time at all, and you’ll end up enjoying the process. 

This soup is a real treat, and feels like the perfect soup to enjoy when you’re feeling a cold coming on.  The garlic, ginger and harissa is super warming, full of antioxidants and anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.

Ottolenghi adds butter, oil and salt.  We gave it the “Eydie treatment” and left it out, and added a bit more lemon juice before serving.  It is so delicious…it just doesn’t need the added fat. A pinch of salt added to each serving (1/16th tsp.) adds just enough of a punch to elevate the flavors without sacrificing you health!   

The harissa takes some work, albeit easy, but you can make it in advance and store in the refrigerator for a few weeks.  Or buy store-bought, although it won’t be salt and oil free.

Try this delicious soup and let us know what you think, and how you like the garlic peeling technique.  



  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ¼ tsp coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium-hot fresh red chiles, seeded and roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp tomato paste
  • 2 TB lemon juice, or more to taste


  • 4 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 25 medium garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme
  • 1 cup white wine (or substitute with no salt vegetable stock)
  • Generous pinch of saffron threads
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 4 TB roughly chopped parsley
  • 4 TB roughly chopped cilantro
  • Pinch of salt (1/16th tsp.) per serving


Make the Harissa:

(if not using store bought)

Preheat the oven to 450℉

1- Seed the bell pepper and flatten it out.  Place on parchment lined sheet pan and roast in preheated oven for 8 minutes or until completely blackened.   Remove from the oven and place bell pepper in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to let steam, to release skin from flesh, for 10 minutes or more.  Skin the pepper and reserve.

2- In a small saute pan over low heat, lightly dry-toast the coriander, cumin and caraway for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.  Remove them to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, and grind to a powder.

3- Place a medium sized saute pan over medium high heat for about 1 minute to dry saute the vegetables.   Add chopped onions, garlic and chilies, stirring quickly. Turn the heat down to medium low and cover the pan, for 1 minute. Lift the cover, stir, and cover again for another 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are a bit caramelized.  Cool slightly then scoop into a blender or a small food processor. Add the remaining harissa ingredients, including the roasted pepper and ground spices. Blitz together to make a paste. Set aside.

Make the Soup:

1- Gently dry saute the shallots and celery, using the method above, for 5 minutes or so, or until translucent.  Add garlic, stir and place cover on the pan and cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Stirin the ginger and thyme.  Pour in 1 cup wine (or 1 cup veggie stock) and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the saffron, bay leaves and additional 1 quart of stock. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

2- Remove bay leaves and add parsley.  Ladle into the container of a high speed blender and blitz, leaving some bits of vegetable for texture.

To Serve:

Divide the soup among shallow bowls.  Stir in a tiny pinch of salt, swirl in some harissa and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

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