Saturday, January 22, 2011
Morroccan Soup to fight the Mistral
When it is as cold outside as it has been here the last few days my mind automatically turns to soup - hearty, warming thick winter soup. So for inspiration I went into the kitchen drawer that holds my recipe scrapbook and found a recipe that I'd ripped out of some magazine and never before prepared: "Soupe Marocaine". I almost gave up when I saw the (very) long list of ingredients but now am very glad I didn't because it most certainly was not the last time this "Morrocan Soup" made it to our table - it is delicous and the smell of cinnamon, cumin and cilantro evoked memories of a trip to the beautiful city of Marrakesh far too long ago.
Ingredients - serves 4
500 g lean lamb - cubed, 150 g squash - peeled and cubed, 150 g canned chickpeas - well rinsed, 100 g red lentils, 2 zucchini - chopped, 2 mild white onions - peeled and chopped, 1 red pepper - chopped, olive oil, 1 can (450g) peeled tomatoes, 1 tbsp tomatoe puree, tsp powdered cumin, 1 tsp paprika powder, 1 tsp cinnamon powder, a cube of vegetable stock, salt and pepper fresh from the mill.
Heat a generous splash of olive oil and brown the lamb cubes on all sides. Add the chopped onion, season with a few rounds of pepper from the mill, the cumin and paprika powder. Stir and let cook for a few minutes. Add the chickpeas, dissolve a cube of vegetable stock in 1.5 liter of water, add and let simmer on medium heat for about one hour. Add the rest of the ingredients and the cinnamon and let simmer for another 20 or so minutes.
Check seasoning and sprinkle plenty of fresh cilantro leaves on top before serving with a crunchy baguette and a nice red wine, of course. Then let the Mistral (the icy Provençal wind from the north) blow all he wants - this soup keeps you warm!