Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Moroccan Harira

I don’t think I’ve ever eaten Moroccan food before, let alone cooked it. I also don’t think I’ve ever eaten lamb before, let alone cooked it. AND had no idea what “Harira” meant. So, right off the bat this recipe was going to be an adventure. But the picture in the cookbook looked good – so I figured it was worth a shot!

According to “The Soup Bible” Moroccan Harira is a meat and vegetable soup that is traditionally eaten during the month of Ramadan, when the Moroccan Muslim population fasts between sunup and sundown. It sounded (and looked) hearty, which was great for a cold winter’s night in Boston. Before I continue I must digress… I’ve never eaten lamb before for a silly reason: I always though of them as “cute” animals. But really, I got to thinking, I find cows cute too, and deer (and I have perfectly no problem eating those) so I’m not sure why I’ve been so adverse to eating lamb. I figured this soup was the perfect opportunity to combat my weird lamb phobia.

This soup/stew was a mixture of lamb meat, chick-peas, shallots, red lentils, tomatoes, and soup noodles (I used a thin capellini). The soup was also flavored with cinnamon (a personal favorite), turmeric, and garnished with cilantro and limes (two more of my personal favorites) so I knew my taste buds were going to be in for a treat. This recipe was pretty easy to make, it took a little bit of prep work browning the meat {see picture 1: meat & onions cooking} and then adding the ingredients together at the right time, but once everything was put together it was nice to let it just sit on the stove or crock-pot (which is what I did) for an hour and a half. The inclusion of soup noodles was a great addition which turned this stew into more of a soup. The only downfall was that they soaked up a lot of the broth so I’ll probably have to add more water next time or use some vegetable broth.

All in all, I thought this soup was delicious with a great amount of spice and very tender, tasty meat.

Overall score: 9 out of 10.

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