Thursday, September 01, 2005

Harira with Roasted Onion


From what little I've read about Harira online, this does not appear to be a very traditional recipe. Said to be served to break the Ramadan fast, most recipes I found included lamb, noodles, lemon and a different mix of spices - often cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and maybe cayenne, but no cardamom. Still, I was looking for a recipe using cardamom, not for a traditional Harira, so I decided to make it anyway. It is very tasty and easy to make. The boys enjoyed it but didn't rave over it. Still, I'm thrilled that they are so open to such different kinds of foods.

1 medium onion, peeled, halved, roasted and finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 14-oz. cans vegetable stock (approximately 7 1/4 cups)
2 cups dry garbanzo beans (soaked overnight in cold water and rinsed) (I used canned)
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
2 cups diced, peeled tomatoes (or a 16-oz. can)
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (I skipped this)

Peel and halve the onion. Place on sheet pan and roast at 425 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown; approximately 15 minutes. Chop onion finely.

Heat olive oil in a 4-qt pan and sauté the celery until softened. Add the roast onion, garlic, and spices. Cook for a few minutes until the spices are fragrant. Add the chicken (or vegetable) stock and bring to a boil.

Add the garbanzo beans, lentils, tomatoes, and cook approximately 45 minutes or until the garbanzo beans are nearly tender. Skim during the cooking process and stir occasionally.

At this point, soup is ready for final seasoning. Taste for salt and pepper and add 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro.

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