Reprinted with permission from www.theculturedcook.com and culinary expert Lisa Howard
It’s summer, it’s hot (since when was Detroit in the middle of the Sahara?), and I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to spend much time over a hot stove right now. Hence, this soup! Although it involves a bit of simmering time, the heat is on low and you don’t have to be near the stove stirring — instead, you can hang out by the cool sink and lazily rip cilantro leaves free from their stems. This soup also has the advantage of tasting fabulous whether you serve it hot, cold, or at room temp. (Fabulous flavors tend to happen when you use fresh ingredients like ginger root and organic lemon zest!)
Summery Moroccan Lemon & Almond Soup
Serves 2 for lunch, especially if you include some flatbread/crackers and some fresh fruit on the side.
2 cups chicken broth, preferably from free-range chickens
1 medium clove garlic, minced
About 1” of peeled ginger root (use a paring knife to cut away the bark)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
Zest of 1 lemon, preferably organic since you’re using the peel (if you have a microplane zester, use that to zest the lemon; if you don’t have a microplane, use a vegetable peeler and then mince the pieces of zest)
About 1 cup ground almonds (the finer the grind, the smoother the soup; coarsely ground or chopped almonds will make for a chunky soup)
Juice of 1 lemon, divided (be sure to zest the lemon before squeezing it!)
Dash of whole milk, preferably from grass-fed cows
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Pour the broth into a medium pot and add the garlic. Hold a garlic press directly over the pot and press the ginger root in it to get the juice out. Discard remaining dry root. (If you get a very fresh piece of ginger and you’d like to include it all, mince the peeled root and add that instead. I usually have a hard time finding ultra-fresh ginger, so I press out the juice and skip using the fibrous strands left behind — the older the root, the more fibrous it gets.) Stir in cumin, coriander, and lemon zest. Add the almonds and half of the lemon juice.
Heat the soup over medium heat or medium-high heat just long enough to get a gentle boil, then reduce to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. (This is when you can casually pluck your cilantro leaves from the stems.) Remove from heat and stir in remaining lemon juice and the dash of milk. If you want a velvet-smooth soup, run the finished soup through a food processor.
Serve soup hot, cold, or at room temp, garnishing with the cilantro. Leftover soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you’d like to make the soup again with a slightly different twist, try using fresh mint leaves in place of the cilantro.