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So how about a bowl full of soup? no not bland… the soup which spells flavor & sensations! Bursting with sense awakening taste with every spoonful…I am talking about Harira… The Traditional Moroccan Soup usually served during the month of Ramadan to break the fast. It is also served during any special celebrations like weddings. Usually lamb or beef is added to the soup, but it can be done without meat too.
Well it does not have to be eaten for an ocassion… it can be savored anytime, for it does taste really really good. It is a dish by itself, as it contains all the wholesome goodness of lentils, chickpeas, vegetables, rice or pasta & above all tantalizing spices & herbs… the taste & aroma which is hard to forget & make you crave for more.
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Onion — sliced
1cup Tomatoes Puree(can use canned ones too)
1/2 cup Chopped Celery Stalks
2 Big Carrots Chopped
1 Medium Potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 Big Zucchini/or any squash cubed
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger ( I used fresh grated ginger)
1/2″ cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoon paprika
A generous pinch of saffron — crushed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
A fist full of flat leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup lentils ( I used red lentils)
water/vegetable stock (about a cup)
1 cup garbanzo beans/Chickpeas (about 16 oz can) – cooked, with liquid
1/4 cup orzo (or any other small pasta you will use)
lemon wedges — as desired/garnish
Harissa Paste ( I have used my homemade Harissa, you can buy from any store)
Chopped dates or raisins or figs.. any dry fruit you would want to add for garnish
If you are using garbanzo beans/ chickpeas not in the can, you will need to boil/cook them first.
Heat the Olive Oil. Add the celery & the onion. Stir fry till the onions are transluscent & slightly brown.
Add the Lentils, Potato, Zucchini/or any squash, Carrots, Cumin, Coriander, Cinnamon sticks, Paprika, Turmeric, Ginger & Saffron, and garlic. Stir fry at medium heat till you get a smoked aroma. At this stage the spices mature and you will have the spicy, smoky fragrance. Be careful not to overdue or the spices will burn.
Add the water/stock, salt, tomato puree, black pepper, & garbanzo/chickpeas. Cover & boil at medium heat for about 15 -20 minutes.
Add the orzo/any other pasta. (If you want a soup of thicker consistency, do add a little bit more flour).
Add the parsely & the cilantro/fresh coriander leaves. Cover & Simmer at low heat for about another 20 minutes.
Scramble the eggs, and pour into soup. Use your spoon and stir in a figure eight motion until the egg cooks in a strand like texture. Cook for about five minutes.
Ladle in to bowls. Below is the hot steaming soup, just cooked.
Squeeze lemon in to the soup. Garnish with fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped dates or raisins & harissa. If needed, you can mop it off with any kind of bread you want, like any Turkish flatbread or Poee.
I actually loved the addition of the sweet dates or raisins. It is a perfect blend of taste that will surely tickle all your tastebuds.
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