Are you looking for an easy, healthful, make-ahead option that you can take to work for lunch? Soup fits the bill. A simple puree of vegetables, dressed up with a dollop of sour cream or flavored Greek yogurt and a few herbs, makes a tasty, healthy, satisfying lunch.
You can make this easy (and low-calorie/fat-free!) carrot-bell pepper soup recipe over the weekend and enjoy it for several days during the week. I went with a sort of Moroccan flavor combination for this soup recipe, inspired by a trip we took to Marrakech a couple of years ago. During that trip, I took a Moroccan cooking class and experienced the wonders of this cuisine: platters of roasted vegetables to begin a meal, flavors of cumin and ras al hanout (the local spice blend), scents of rose petal and orange flower.
This joins my pantheon of roasted-vegetable soup recipes, including winter vegetable soup and roasted tomato soup. It’s lovely chilled or warm, and it would be a perfect accompaniment to a classic grilled cheese sandwich for dinner. Scatter a few snipped chives, fresh parsley or cilantro on each bowl. For a real global flair, whisk together some Greek yogurt and a bit of harissa, the spicy Tunisian chili paste (sold in tubes at specialty grocery stores) and dollop on the soup.
Moroccan-inspired roasted carrot and red pepper soup recipe
4 large carrots, peeled or unpeeled, cut into 1/3-inch coins
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 leek, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 cups vegetable broth
kosher salt and ground white pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
fresh herbs for serving
for the harissa cream:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Harissa, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss together the carrots, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the cumin and kosher salt. Transfer the carrots to a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the bell pepper and leek in the same bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and kosher salt. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, move the carrots to one side and add the bell pepper and leek to the pan. Roast for another 25–30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender; add 2 cups of vegetable broth and puree for 2–3 minutes, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides of the blender, until the soup is smooth. Transfer the soup to a large bowl and stir in the remaining 1 cup of vegetable broth and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. For the harissa cream, whisk together the Greek yogurt and harissa to taste. Top each serving with a dollop of the harissa cream and fresh snipped herbs.