“This is the best dish I ever tasted in my life!”
That is an exact quote from my husband after tasting a carrot soup I made recently. It’s got some heat, thanks to Harissa (a peppery condiment originally from North Africa). But the spiciness is tamed by rich, creamy, coconut milk.
I’ve been experimenting with coconut milk for two reasons. First, because I’ve read that it’s healthy (it has medium chain fatty acids which are so-called good fats). And also because although it acts like dairy, it isn’t. So if you can’t digest dairy or you want to mix meat and something dairy-like in a meal, coconut milk is the thing for you!
This recipe was based on a soup my Mom served occasionally when she wanted us to eat vegetables and we wouldn’t. But she used fresh dill (a terrific partner for carrots), not Harissa, and enriched the soup with half and half cream. So you could always try that version too (1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill).
Btw, you can buy Harissa in jars in the supermarket. I also give a recipe for Harissa in my book, Hip Kosher.
Carrot Soup with Harissa and Coconut
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
1-1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cups vegetable stock
6 whole cloves
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons harissa
1 cup coconut milk
salt to taste
toasted coconut for garnish, optional
Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook briefly. Add the carrots, stock and cloves, bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pan partially and cook for 25 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Remove the cloves. Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or use a standing blender or food processor). Return the soup to the pan. Whisk in the Harissa. Whisk in the coconut milk. Bring the soup to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste. Serve garnished with toasted coconut if desired. Makes 6 servings