I love soups. I often make a big batch of various soups and freeze them in individual containers for future lunches or dinners. I eat soup all year long, but they are even more special during the winter. For the winter of 2010, I'm going to do an ode to soup series for my next several healthy cooking posts.
My sister received the 1 Stock, 100 Soups cookbook this past Christmas. It’s a very fun book. While we were at my parents’ house for the holidays, we tried out some of the recipes and made four of the 100 soups.
As you know, I feel free to experiment with any recipe and will often make variations and substitutions if I think I’ll like it better. Soup is very amendable to this. The following recipe is my version of the North African Soup Harira, the #88 soup on page 197 of the 1 Stock, 100 Soups Cookbook.
North African Harira
Serves 6 – 8
2 tbsp olive oil (I used a spray can of olive oil and really cut back on the oil used.)
8 – 16 oz lamb (the original recipe called for boneless lean lamb, cut into cubes, but I used lamb on the bone, cooked it whole - still on the bone to add more flavor to the soup broth – and shredded the meat at the end of cooking.)
1 onion, chopped
12 cups beef broth (I’m sure you could use vegetable or chicken broth if you prefer. I wanted a heartier broth.)
1 cup lentils (your choice – I used the regular lentils you can find easily at the grocery store.)
½ cup barley
1 can diced tomatoes
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp sugar (I used raw sugar)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ginger
1 – 2 tbsp fresh, flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the lamb and brown over medium heat 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until softened.
Pour in the beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the soup is at a simmer. Add the lentils, barley, tomatoes, celery, carrots, red bell pepper and spices. Keep it at a simmer and cook for 40 minutes. Add the can of garbanzo beans and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
If you used lamb meat on the bone (shanks, chops, etc.), pull the lamb. Let it cool and then shred.
When you are done cooking, you may think there is too much broth. Since you use so many legumes in this soup, they’ll absorb the broth as it sits. You may feel like you need to add extra broth after a couple days.
If you plan to freeze the soup, you may want to let it sit a day in the refrigerator so that it gets more flavorful before you freeze it.
This soup was a huge hit for the whole Butler family. I hope you like it as well.
Are you a big soup fan? Does it matter what time of the year it is? Do you have any favorite soup recipes you would like to share?