North African Spiced Soup - oil free

The spices that make this soup "to die for" have been used for centuries in the North African countries of Morocco and western Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and now in all parts of the world. Why is that area of Africa known for its spiced foods? Historically, North Africa was a resting point along the spice route from Asia to Europe and so fresh spices were readily available and were incorporated, over time, into the culture and the diet. This recipe can be found online in many different varieties and my adaption of it comes from a book that I have had for years called 'detox dieting' Eating for Health and so this recipe is oilfree and plant-based only. It is one of the most comforting foods that I have ever made and one of the healthiest and the 'tasty factor' is well over 10+. The good news is that although it is "north african" spiced soup it is likely that you have most of the ingredients already in your cupboard.


  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic chopped (optional, as this is my addition)
  • 5/6 cups of low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 2 celery stocks diced
  • any other veggies you like eg turnip, rutabaga, broccoli stalks, all diced
  • 1 14 oz/400g can of chopped tomatoes (I normally use a larger can)
  • 1 pound of potatoes, diced (I use a combo of white and sweet potatoes)
  • 5 strands of saffon (optional)
  • 1 14 oz/400g (or larger) can of chick-peas drained (aka garbanzo beans)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped corriander
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • optional chopped kale - 3 or 4 leaves


  • Start by placing the onion and garlic in a large pot with 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
  • While the onion is simmering, mix together the cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and cayenne pepper, add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable stock and mix together to form a paste. Using a mortar and pestle makes this part easy, if you have one.
  • Add the spicy paste into the onion mixture and stir well, then add the carrots, celery, other veggies and the remainder of the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer gently for 5-10 minutes with the lid on.
  • Next, add the potatoes, canned tomatoes and chick peas and with the lid on allow to simmer gently for another 20 minutes or so until the potatoes are cooked.
  • Close to the time you are ready to eat you can put in the saffron, lemon and corriander and, if like me you like the extra greens, then this would be the time to also add the roughly chopped kale. If you have extra lemons, it is very nice to serve the soup with a lemon wedge on the side.
  • I have also been known to add quinoa, or a small pasta, or farro to the soup when I add the potatoes... more flavour.... mmmm my mouth is watering again.

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  • a plant-based diet that reduces or eliminates all animal foods like meat, dairy, and eggs PLUS has the addition of starch, so that you feel full and satisfied
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