Tuesday, November 23, 2010

hot harira soup for my cold body & soul

i realise that there are colder places on this earth at the moment (i'm truly sorry for you, calgarians), but i am not liking the ghastly cold vancouver weather right now. AT ALL. i leave my house bundled up with all the warmest clothes i have, i look ridiculous, and i STILL freeze my butt off. well, my toes, mostly.

sooo... i've been staying inside a lot. and i made a huge pot of hot, comforting soup yesterday to warm my cold, bitter soul. moroccan harira soup. it seems that this soup is traditionally made with lamb, but i used chicken instead. i mostly followed this recipe, at epicurian.com but originally from gourmet magazine issue march 1994.

i tweaked a few things to make it even better:

  • chicken (i used 1 thigh, because i am poor. you can use however much chicken you can afford)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water (i probably added a couple more cups onto that)
  • 4 blanched tomatoes, de-peeled & chopped up (or a can or 2 of diced or pureed tomatoes)
  • 1/4 or 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp coriander (optional)
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped fine
  • 14-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup raw long-grain rice
  • 1 & 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional. i didn't have any)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • in a large pot, bring chicken, broth, water, 1/2 a cinnamon stick & 2 cloves of garlic to a boil. simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. remove chicken & let cool. remove cinnamon stick & discard.
  • while pot is simmering, saute chopped onions, garlic & spices (mustard & coriander) in a separate pan on low to moderate heat. about 5-10 minutes.
  • add to large pot onion mixture, tomatoes, rice, lentils, & chickpeas
  • close lid & simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
  • remove bones & skin from chicken & shred/chop up chicken.
  • stir chicken into soup; add salt & pepper to taste. simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
  • add half of the chopped parsley (& cilantro if using).
  • serve soup hot and garnish with the rest of the parsley.
  • enjoy with toasted bread or fresh, warm biscuits (recipe to follow)
i made my mom's biscuit recipe. super quick & easy!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbls baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter/shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk/milk substitute
  • heat oven to 450F (225C)
  • whisk flour, salt & baking powder in a bowl.
  • blend in butter with hands or pastry cutter until mixture looks like fine crumbs
  • stir in milk, only until flour is all moistened. do not beat!
  • transfer dough to floured surface & knead about 10 times.
  • roll or pat dough until about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick.
  • cut out shapes & put on baking sheet.
  • bake 10-12 minutes.
  • serve with honey-butter. (1 part honey to 1 part soft butter)

now that i'm done typing out the recipe, i remember that i've already posted the recipe here, back in 2008. oops!

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