Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jo's (Modified) Harira Soup

I just came back from picking up my basket at Linda's and got to meet a kindred spirit... another of Linda's customers named Tara.  HI TARA!  We were encouraging her to write a blog posting to share her recipe (which includes chard and breadcrumbs, so she had me at 'Hello'), so I thought I'd best get up my latest recipe to share with my fellow kindred souls.

I watch a lot of weird things online.  A few weeks ago, there was a story in the news about a muslim woman who had made Princess Leia buns out of her hijab, and I found myself on her YouTube channel sniffing around.  Well didn't she post a recipe that was right up my alley.  It's a Morrocan vegetable soup with lentils and chick peas. (My two favourite legumes!)  It's called "Harira" and it's a common Ramadan soup used to break the fast.  It's got a tomato base, and aren't I swimming in Tree & Twig tomatoes right about now!!!  In fact, I was able to use Linda's onions and tomatoes in this recipe, which packed more of a punch, seeing as they are of the flavourful organic heirloom kind. 
I modified the recipe from the original (found here: ) and added a zillion more tomatoes, a lot more parsley and cilantro, and crushed the vermicelli to make the noodles bite sized.
Hope you enjoy it! My version makes about seven servings of 1.5-2 cups each

Harira - Traditional Moroccan Soup
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 60 minutes   

    4 cups of tomatoes - pureed
    1 onion - chopped
    1 bunch of cilantro (pureed)
    1 bunch of parsley (pureed)
    1 celery stick - chopped
    2 tablespoons of tomato paste
    2 tablespoons of butter
    3 teaspoons of salt
    1/2 teaspoon of pepper
    1 teaspoon of ginger powder
    1 can of chickpeas (or 1 cup of dry chickpeas soaked in water over night)
    1/2 can of lentils
    1 square of vermicelli, crushed (about a cup)
    1/3 cup of flour
    2-3 liters of water
    squirt of lemon

Put the tomatoes (peels and all) into a blender with some water and make a puree.  Add the cilantro and parsley and puree some more.  Add water until the blender is full to the top, and pour into a stock pot.    Add the chopped onion,  celery, butter, salt, pepper, ginger powder, lentils, and remainder water to your pot. Cover the pot and let all the ingredients cook for 45 minutes on medium heat. Stir from time to time.
Should look something like this while simmering:

Note: If you are using dry chickpeas, add them to the other ingredients in step 1. Otherwise, if you are using canned chickpeas, add them towards the end.

After 45 minutes, add the canned chickpeas and the tomato paste.

Dilute the flour with some water. Slowly pour the flour mixture to the harira while stirring to thicken.  Don't pour too quickly or you will wind up with dumplings.

Add the vermicelli. Cover and let the harira cook for another 10 minutes.

Finish with a generous squirt of lemon juice

The flour thickener and tomato paste really change the colour and consistency and it ends being a very hearty earthy soup that was absolutely delicious.

Bon Appetit!

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