Carrot, Celeriac and Blood Orange Soup with Gentle North African Spices

Carrot, Celeriac and Blood Orange Soup is not only deliciously comforting and uplifting, but with a little help from your friendly spice cupboard, it will warm the cockles of your heart and look after your body too!

Researching and writing the Herbs and Spices Chapter for ‘Once Upon a Cook – Food Wisdom, Better Living’ got my creative juices flowing, so when my weekly seasonal fruit and veggie order arrived from Riverford Organic Farmers, I immediately put the contents to good use.

It’s hard to think of foods any more traditional than herbs & spices; they’re amongst the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet – straight from Nature’s healing pharmacy, these culinary alchemists are critical elements of flavour and good health.

Based on nutritious, healing and restorative bone broth (or mineral broth for a vegetarian/vegan version) this soup is spiced with coriander, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and black pepper – all of which are not only culinary giants, but have evidence-based gravitas as big hitters for healing on many levels; used together they pack a mighty powerful band as nutritional brothers.

Just check these spice credentials:


Coriander seed is known for soothing stomach and digestive ailments and we now have positive research outcomes for IBS, spasms, bloating, chronic constipation; inflammatory skin conditions; cholesterol regulation; diabetes; yeast infections;lead poisoning; and liver disease (particularly non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – NAFLD). It’s also effective in treating insomnia – where it has been identified as a powerful sedative and muscle relaxant (I add coriander to my Golden Milk at bedtime – delicious!)


Cinnamon is famed for its ability to control blood sugar – making it of great value to those with insulin resistance, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  It also has a track record for helping regulate high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and yeast infections.


Diabetes researchers have shown cumin to be equal to anti-diabetes drugs in its ability to reduce high cholesterol, triglycerides and to delay cataract development – a common risk for those with diabetes.


Once disparaged as ‘a poor man’s saffron’, turmeric turns out to be India’s gold!  A daily staple in Indian homes for centuries, science is showing us repeatedly that turmeric’s active ingredient curcumin is able to protect and improve our health on just about every level.  Traditional medicines have lauded turmeric with scores of healing actions and now, many thousands of studies have provided evidence that the combination of curcumin’s powerful anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory abilities is as, if not more effective than pharmaceutical drugs – with no side effects!   It’s promise for cancer, pollutants and toxins, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, bowel disease, skin conditions, cardiovascular disease and more… is exciting!

Black pepper corns

Rich in curative piperine, Indian black pepper is considered superior to other varieties. Used as curative for many thousands of years by ancient Ayurveda, research has shown us that piperine powerfully stimulates metabolism: kick-starting digestion, speeding up food transit time through the bowel, improving the metabolism of medications, preventing and treating cancers, easing arthritis, improving brain function, helping hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Buyer beware!

Most commercially grown and supermarket sourced herbs and spices don’t offer the above health benefits; pesticides, fertilisers and other chemicals are used to support their growth and irradiation increases their self-life. You’ll find sources for fresh organic herbs and spices online.

Learn more about herbs and spices

To learn how ‘no-fad’, traditional foods, culinary and medicinal herbs and spices will hugely benefit your health, read:

Once Upon a Cook – Food Wisdom, Better Living: The Wisdom and Science of Traditional Foods, Forgotten Skills and Nourishing Recipes


Click to download your FREE pre-publication chapters and pre-order at a discount.

At home, we love this soup with a dollop of home made yoghurt and a chunk of home-made sourdough bread (thickly buttered, of course) or a crispy, salty baked potato topped with chive labneh, or cultured cream and a lemon-dressed green salad on the side. Perfecto!


Food provenance

Pasture-raised meats, dairy, eggs and wild caught fish have a vastly superior nutritional profile, as do organic, or cleanly grown grains, fruits and vegetables. Please try to source your food as well as you are able.

It goes without saying that the vegetables in this recipe must be organic or grown without the use of pesticides.  There can be no compromises here!



Print Recipe
Carrot, Celeriac, Blood Orange Soup with Gentle North African Spices
The recipe for this heart-warmingly and heart healthy seasonal soup is perfect with a chunk of delicious sourdough bread - thickly buttered, of course!
  1. Pulse the chopped veggies in a food processor until very finely chopped.
  2. Over a medium heat, melt the coconut oil in a large wide pan and add the black pepper, coriander, cumin and turmeric. Over a low heat, saute the spices very gently for a few minutes to release their oils.
  3. Add the chopped veggies and salt and mix everything together well. Cover the pan and and saute over a low heat for 10 mins, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the veggies are softened, add the zest and juice from the blood oranges and the hot stock.  Cover and simmer slowly for 30- 35 mins, or until all the veggies are tender and can be crushed with the back of a spoon.
  5. Add the lemon zest and the boiling water and simmer slowly for another 10 mins, check and adjust seasonings, and add the lemon juice and add honey to taste.
  6. Let the soup cool a little and then blend (carefully) with a stick blender or in batches in the food processor.  You can leave the soup slightly textured or blend until smooth, whichever you prefer and add a little more boiling water if you like a thinner soup.
  7. Reheat the soup very slowly to your preferred temperature, but avoid re-boiling it.
  8. Serve with a little full-fat yoghurt, or a drizzle of fresh cream and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  9. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

The soup will keep well in the fridge for several days and will freeze well.

Avoid storing, freezing and defrosting food in plastic containers - they leach endocrine disrupting chemicals into the food.

Re-heat the soup thoroughly, but avoid re-boiling it.

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Izabella Natrins

After 30 years in the health space, as qualified holistic nutrition and lifestyle health expert and coach, digestive health practitioner & nutritional chef and a writer, a speaker, partner, a mum & grand-mum, I'm here to use my expertise and experience to help women shine at midlife and live the rest of their lives, the BEST of their lives in much better health. My Femergy@40 Nutrition and Lifestyle Health Coaching programmes empower, support and inspire busy, midlife women who are fighting fatigue, struggling with overwhelm, weight, sleep, energy and with niggling or with multiple diagnosed health issues. My book Once Upon a Cook - Food Wisdom, Better Living will make you want to change the way you eat, reclaim your kitchen and take back your health.

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