This soup is the perfect winter warmer on a cold night and makes great leftovers for lunch the next day. Often I make a double batch and freeze in a container for a future rainy day.
In this soup I use a few simple tricks to add maximum flavour – By roasting the sweet potato and garlic rather than boiling it, it creates a rich, deep caramelised flavour that really adds to the soup; by frying the leeks off well first with some salt, it brings out their sweetness; and by toasting the spice mix off with the lemon juice, it releases the volatile oils in the spices and the lemon juice begins the caramelisation.
You could use this as a starter, however, I find served with some crusty sourdough it’s a hearty meal in its own right and one of my favourite ways to use this ultra-versatile blend!
Spices used in this recipe
North African Harissa – Hot
Tunisian Harissa is an integral ingredient in North African cuisine. It has an orangey-red and vibrant colour and scent. It is made from chillies, garlic, and various other spices and is characterized by its grainy consistency and tangy, slightly smokey flavour. It is often used as a paste or condiment by mixing a little olive oil and a dash of lemon juice.$3.45
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius. Cut the sweet potato (skin on) into 2cm chunks and place on lined oven tray with the garlic cloves also with their skin on. Coat in half the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and bake in the oven for 25-30 mins or until cooked through.
When the potato has 10 mins left to cook, heat the remaining olive oil in a large pot. Add the chopped leeks with a generous pinch of salt and saute until they become soft and translucent. Add the harissa spice mix and lemon juice and cook until the spices become fragrant and lemon juice begins to caramelise everything – about 1 minute. When the potato is cooked, remove from the oven and place in the pot. Remove the garlic pulp from their skins and add to the pot too along with the coriander leaves – reserving some for garnish. Stir to coat everything in the spice mix.
Add the stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25 mins. Once done, turn the heat off and use a stick blender to puree the vegetables into a thick, luscious soup. Serve with a sprinkling of coriander and enjoy!