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It has been autumn for more than a month now, but it’s only just begun to feel like it. It’s crisp and cold outside, leaves have begun to turn colors, and the weather forecast predicts rain for the next week.

When the seasons finally change in my little corner of the world, I, like most people, long for certain foods. Winter squash, carrots, soup, and warm spices sing “there’s a chill in the air,” and this place finally feels right to me.

I’ve always been a cold-weather person. I would much rather be cold than hot; I love sweaters and scarves and fingerless mittens. I’m knitting a pair right now, in fact, and that’s something else that I love about fall: I can knit without feeling uncomfortably warm. This winter, if I can find the time, I’m going to knit two sweaters and two pairs of the same mittens, one for my sister and one for myself.

A few days ago, I decided that the time has finally come to bring those autumn-y foods back to my table. Carrots and beets were in the refrigerator, waiting to be made into a delightfully warm and autumn-y soup– and here it is.

DSC_0039 Moroccan-Spiced Carrot & Beet Soup

Serves 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 4 beets, grated
  • 1/4 t cayenne
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t cumin
  • 1/4 t cardamom
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 4 C water
  • 1 C red lentils
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and spices. Saute until fragrant.
  2. Add beets and carrots. Cook for a minute or two, then add lentils, water, salt, and pepper.
  3. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until vegetables and lentils are soft. Put the soup in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve with parsley, red pepper flakes, and a spoonful of tahini.

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