Garlic soup with Harissa

butterfly Serves: 4

Written By Eydie Desser


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If you love garlic and all its benefits and want to become an expert at peeling it, this recipe is for you!  See how to peel garlic in “Cooks’ Notes” below.  This garlic soup recipe includes 28 cloves of garlic, peeled!  It sounds daunting, but I promise, with this technique, it will take you no time at all!  You’ll be glad you did as 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, is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.


For the Harissa:
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium-hot fresh red chiles, seeds and pith removed, and roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
For the Soup:
  • 4 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 25 medium garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • 1 quart +1 cup no salt vegetables stock (LINK TO HOUSE VEGGIE STOCK
  • generous pinch of saffron threads
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons roughly chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 4 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves
  • pinch of salt (1/16th teaspoon) per serving


Preheat the oven to 450℉

Make the Harissa:
  1. Seed the bell pepper and flatten it out.  Place on a parchment lined sheet pan and roast in the preheated oven for 8 minutes or until completely blackened.   Remove from the oven and place the pepper in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to let steam, which releases the skin from flesh, for 10 minutes or more.  Remove the skin and reserve.
  2. In a small saucepan, 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 saucepan 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 of vegetable stock and simmer for 5 minutes,  
  2. Add the saffron, bay leaves and additional 1 quart of stock.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. 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.

butterfly Cook's Notes:
  1.  the best way to peel garlic
  2. Inspired by Ottolenghi in his book “Plenty”

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