Marrakech is a very stimulating place, a feast of images come to my mind when I remember it: men chatting and having tea in the street, the hectic Souk full of colours and fragrances, the cheerful flowers in its gardens and avenues, women gathering under the shadow of the olive trees at the Ménara Garden, the storks nesting in the Badii Palace, the fresh and beautiful mosaic courtyards, the magnificent Koutoubia Mosque and much more… and of course food was not an exception, absolutely inspiring: refreshing mint tea, fragrant tagines (I specially remember a surprising lamb and fig tagine that I was incapable of imitate at home), fresh taboulé with grilled meat dinners at the lively Djemaa el-Fna square and the fresh grilled seafood and fish in the nearby coastal town of Essaouria.
Since I have visited it, I cook a Moroccan-inspired dish once in a while. Besides, as the Moroccan community is quite big in Spain, I am lucky enough to have an authentic grocery store locally, where I buy couscous, sometimes a delicious Moroccan flat bread, excellent beef and some of my spices like Ras El Hanout, a spices mixture which blend originally vary with the merchant selling it, but it is supposed to have the best of the house. And for us, the ones with not souk nearby, it depends on the brand. Today I am sharing a vegan rice soup perfumed with Ras-El-Hanout, I hope you get inspired by it and travel with your taste buds to Northern Africa with me!
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes in the pressure cooker* or 45 minutes for regular cooking
- a dash of olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 leek, chopped
- 2 teaspoons of Ras El Hanout
- 1 liter vegetable stock
- 1/2 aubergine, diced
- 1/2 zucchini, diced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1/4 cup brown rice (this measure results in a creamy thick soup, adjust according to your taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dried parsley to taste
- Lemon wedges to serve
Heat the oil in a cooking pot (the pressure cooking* pot if using), add the onion, leek, sprinkle Ras El Hanout and sauté on a medium-low heat until translucent.
Pour the stock, put in the rest of the vegetables and the brown rice and season with salt, pepper and dried parsley to taste. Cover, bring to a boil and then cook over low heat for 15 minutes since full pressure is reached when using the pressure cooker* or simmer until the rice is done for regular cooking.
*Always follow your pressure cooker instructions and manage it with due care.
Serve and enjoy! I squeezed some lemon juice on it at the end, the Turkish way (see Mercibek Çorba) and it was a delicious touch! And here is an inspiring soup I really like also using Ras El Hanout by Chica Andaluza: Sopa de Bacalao, my next try with Ras El Hanout!