We’re heading into a pretty busy time year. Time can sometimes feel like it’s on fast forward once December hits, and then before we know it we are well into the new year. The holidays have been pretty routine for me the past few years in France, a few busy weeks at work with an early morning ski date on the 25th. Cooking a big chili or a soup for just myself and Matt and cozying up to watch a movie. We always tried to keep things slow and quiet, and it suited us pretty well that way. This year will be different, but it’s a very welcomed change. I’m already excited for our crazy family traditions and just spending the holidays with everyone here at home.
The winter can be a hard time to keep things interesting in the kitchen. Between holiday parties and gatherings and coming home in the dark, I understand it’s not always motivating to invest time into the kitchen when toast and the couch are just staring you in the face. I used the call this soup my pantry party soup, as it was one of those things I would make with a few leftovers hanging around in the cupboards. On those nights when the fridge is bare and you have the luck of finding one lonely onion and a few cloves of garlic in the pantry. I love this soup because it is rich and creamy without much cooking or prep time. The perfect recipe to keep in your back pocket for the next few months. I’ve gone and dressed it up here with some orange scented quinoa for a little extra heartiness on those colder nights. And of course, loads of harissa.
Harissa is no stranger to this blog. It is something that I always keep stocked in the fridge for adding to stews, dips or roasted veggies. It is my favorite way to add heat and flavor to any meal. Good quality condiments can be hard to come by, and when I moved back to Canada I was on the search for a harissa with natural ingredients and loaded with moroccan taste. I was so please to find Mina. A brand that stands for tradition, quality and above all flavor. And today, the kind folks of Casablanca Foods are offering up a chance for you to win 3 jars of their delicious harissa – spicy, mild and green! (So far the spicy is my favorite!). These jars would make wonderful hostess gifts for the holiday season, or keep them for yourself to spice up your morning eggs or afternoon hummus. For a chance to win this spicy giveaway, just leave a comment below with your name + email and and let me know your favorite way to use harissa. A winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, November 28th. Open to US + CAN friends only. A big thank you the kind folks over at mina harissa for turning up the heat for our holiday season!
SPICY MOROCCAN CHICKPEA SOUP WITH ORANGE + ALMOND QUINOA
A delicious, heartwarming soup that you can throw together any night of the week. Good quality canned tomatoes can make a big difference here, go organic or fire roasted if you can. The orange zest in the quinoa really balances out this soup, so if you’re not going to make the quinoa (I suggest you should!) – just grate some fresh orange zest over the soup along with the fresh cilantro.
Thanks again to the people at Mina Harissa for the spicing up our holidays. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win 3 jars of Mina Harissa, just comment below with your name + email and let me know your favorite way to use harissa. A winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, November 28th. Open to US + CAN friends only.
Serves 4. Vegan + Gluten Free.
1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil (or select oil of choice for sautéing)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground saffron (if you have it)
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 540ml can chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
1 796ml/28 fl oz can whole roasted tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons Mina Spicy Harissa or harissa or choice (adjust level of heat if needed)
2 cups low sodium vegetable stock (or 2 cups filtered water + 2 teaspoon homemade stock powder)
Juice of one medium orange (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup)
Sea salt, to taste
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1+ 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
Large handful fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and ginger and sautée until soft and fragrant. Add a few splashes of water if things get a little dry.
Add spices and chickpeas and stir to coat chickpeas in spices. Add tomatoes, harissa and stock and stir to combine. Bring everything to boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before blending. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Squeeze in orange juice and blend the soup using a blender in batches or using an immersion blender right in the pot.
While the soup is simmering. Cook the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a metal sieve for about 30 secs. Add rinsed quinoa and 1 cup water to a pot and season with salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until quinoa has increased in sized and absorbed most of the water. Remove from heat and let sit with the lid on for another 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Stir in orange zest, toasted slivered almonds and chopped cilantro.
Serve soup with a few big spoonfuls of quinoa on top, extra cilantro, a squeeze of orange juice and of course, lots of harissa on the side.
Post sponsored by mina harissa, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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