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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC

www.cathyskitchenprescription.com

 

Harira

Aromatic and heady, Moroccan harira’s blend of saffron, Ceylon cinnamon, coriander, lemon, ginger, mint and Kashmiri chilis will transport you instantly to Marrakech spice markets. This satisfying soup tastes so complex and alluring, it will thrill your senses and fill your kitchen with intoxicating aromas.  Harira’s main ingredients are red lentils and chickpeas, very rich low-fat sources of fiber and protein.

 

Prep 40 minutes   

Cooking 30 minutes

Serves 8 to 10 

 

Spice blend

1 stick Ceylon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1½ teaspoons coriander seeds

¼ teaspoon black peppercorns

 

Soup

7 cups no-sodium vegetable broth

Large pinch saffron threads, crumbled and steeped

Juice and zest from ½ large lemon

Small bunch of fresh mint, chopped

1 to 1½ teaspoons Kashmiri chilies or Aleppo peppers, ground into a fine powder.

3 15-ounce cans no-sodium chickpeas cups, rinsed

1 large red onion, cut in a medium dice

3 stalks celery, cut in a medium dice

1 large carrot, cut in a medium dice

1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 whole jarred or canned San Marzano plum tomatoes

1 cup masoor dal (split red lentils), rinsed

1 fistful of both cilantro and parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons aka (red) miso paste, or to taste

 

Spice blend

  • Heat a small skillet on low for 3 minutes.
  • Break the Ceylon cinnamon stick in pieces and add it, the cumin and coriander seeds, and the peppercorns to the hot skillet, stirring constantly.
  • As soon as you smell their aroma, pour them onto a plate to cool. Do not allow them to burn or smoke or they will be bitter and ruin the soup.
  • Transfer the roasted spices to a coffee grinder and process them into a powder. Measure out 2 teaspoons for the soup. Jar the excess in a tightly lidded spice jar and store in a cool, dark cupboard.

 

Soup

  • Pour 7 cups of vegetable broth into a separate pot. Cover the pot and maintain it at a very low simmer.
  • Crumble the saffron threads with your fingers into a small bowl. Pour in a few tablespoons of boiling water. Allow it to steep to make a vermillion saffron tea.
  • Zest and juice the half lemon.
  • Remove the stems and break up the chilies, seeds included, into a coffee grinder. Grind them into a fine powder. Measure out 1½ teaspoons for the soup and store the rest in a tightly lidded spice jar to keep in a cool, dark cupboard.
  • In a food processor blend 1½ cups of the chickpeas, adding a little broth to create a thick purée that we'll use later to thicken the soup.
  • Heat a 6-quart pot on medium-low for 3 minutes. Lower the heat and add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cover and gently sweat them for five to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the pan begins to dry or the aromatics begin to darken, lower the heat and add a small amount of hot broth.
  • Add the minced garlic and ginger and 1 teaspoon of the freshly ground chili. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, breaking them up a bit with a wooden spoon, the raw red lentils and remaining whole chickpeas. Stir and cook for two minutes.
  • Add 6 cups of the heated broth now, together with the saffron tea and chopped mint. Cook for 15 minutes at a low simmer, stirring occasionally, to allow the lentils to cook and all the flavors to meld.
  • Stir as much of the puréed chickpeas as needed to thicken the soup as much as you like.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and miso paste to taste. Correct any of the seasonings (the spice blend, mint, lemon, chili, or miso) as you desire.
  • Serve harira in warmed bowls. Garnish it with lemon zest and chopped parsley and cilantro, and serve with a whole grain flatbread.

Harira

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