It has been raining here in southern California. Wet. Glistening. Rain.
After the long drought and precious little rain from last year’s fizzle of an El Nino, it is a delight to just stand outside and get drenched. Juliet? Not so much. The pup doesn’t like to get her feet wet. So, this morning’s “walk” consisted of me carrying her tucked neatly under the cover of my umbrella. Here is a recent photo of my rain-averse pup.
Rainy weather is soup weather at my house. Today’s soup is a Moroccan harira soup that I’ve made (and enjoyed) for years. The original recipe came from Kitty Morse’s wonderful cookbook, North Africa: The Vegetarian Table. The book is one of my treasured cookbooks. It was first published in 1996 but you might be able to get a used copy through Amazon or your local purveyor of used books.
Of this soup, Morse wrote this introduction: “Harira is the hearty bean soup, redolent of cinnamon and ginger, with which Moroccan families traditionally break the day’s fast each evening during the Muslim month of Ramadan….At sunset, all signs of life disappear from the city streets. Everyone is at home enjoying a steaming bowl of harira, a few dates, and a glass of milk. In the countryside, many Moroccan farmers often start their day with a bowl of harira.”
Like the Moroccan farmers, I started my day today with a bowl of this warming soup. Life is good.
Yields 8 Servings
Moroccan Harira Soup
10 minPrep Time
50 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 2 T. olive oil
- 2 onions (sliced)
- One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
- 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 t. ground turmeric
- 1/4 t. ground ginger
- 1/2 ti 1 t. saffron threads (crushed)
- 20 fresh cilantro sprigs
- 10 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 C. orange lentils (rinsed and picked over)
- 8 C. water
- One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans with their liquid
- One 15-ounce can foul mudammas (canned fava beans) with their liquid
- 1/2 C. broken dried thin egg noodles or angel hair pasta
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)
- Cilantro (chopped) and lemon wedges for garnish)
- Heat oil in your soup pot over medium high heat. Sauté the onions until they are soft. (Stir the onions as you sauté them to keep them from burning.) Puree tomatoes in your blender or food processor with the ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, saffron, cilantro, parsley, salt and pepper until fairly smooth. Add this mixture to the cooked onions and stir. Bring mixture to a boil and then add the lentils and the water. Cover soup pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer your soup until the lentils are tender. This should take between 30 and 35 minutes. When the lentils are tender, add the canned undrained garbanzo beans and the undrained foul mudammas (canned fava beans) to the pot. Bring the soup back to a low boil. Add the pasta and cook until the pasta is tender. This will take about 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk your egg and slowly swirl it into the hot soup; it will form pretty stands of egg in the soup. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro and lemon wedges.
You can find canned fava beans (foul mudammas) at many supermarkets and at virtually every Middle Eastern market.
This soup, as written, is very thick. Thin it to your preference with additional water or broth.