Ras el hanout is a spice blend brought to Jerusalem by North african Jews consisting of mainly sweet and hot spices, toasted and ground. There isn’t one definitive recipe, every spice shop in North Africa ( hanout means shop in Arabic) has its own flagship spice blend with a typical set of secret components. Home cooks buy the blend or try to emulate it themselves. In any case, the name stuck, signifying a west and heady mix: Commercial varieties available in the UK are fine but feel free to enhance them with your own additions. If your ras el hangout doesn’t contain cinnamon, make sure you add some as we do here. If you don’t like rose water; leave it out.
2 medium carrots ( 250g in total) cut into 2cm dice .
3 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tbsp rasel hanout
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
240g cooked chickpeas, fresh or tinned
1 medium onion thinly sliced
15g finely chopped fresh root ginger
600ml vegetable stock
200g watercress……note I buy mine from Darling Mills at Carriage works farmers markets Sat morning 8am-2pm they sell out early.
100g spinach leaves washed
2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp rose water
Greek yoghurt to serve ( optional )
Pre heat the oven, to 220C/200C Fan /Gas Mark 7.
Mix the carrots with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the raw el hangout, cinnamon and a generous pinch of salt and spread flat in a roasting tin lined with baking parchment. Place in the oven for 15 minutes then add half the chickpeas, stir well and cook for another 10 minutes or until the carrot soften but still has a bite.
Meanwhile, place the onion and ginger in a large saucepan. Sauté faith the remaining olive oil for about 10 minutes on a medium heat, chickpeas, stock, watercress, spinach, sugar and 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt, stir well and bring to the boil . Cook for a minute or two, just until the leaves wilt.
Using a food processor or blender blitz the soup until smooth. Add the rose water; stir, taste and add more salt or rose water if you like. Set aside until the carrot and chickpeas are ready, then reheat to serve.
To serve, divide the soup into four bowls and top wight he hot carrot and chickpeas and if you like, about 2 teaspoons of yoghurt per portion.
TRULY DELICIOUS !!!!!!!!!!
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