Harira is the traditional soup of Morocco and a Ramadan favorite through out the Arab world. Many versions of this savory stew can be found however, this is my personal favorite. Serve fresh slices of lemon with each bowl.
1-1/2 pounds cubed lamb
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or 1/2 teaspoon paprika & 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper)
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 (8 oz) can of diced tomatoes
7 cups water
3/4 cup green lentils
1 (8 oz) can of chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup vermicelli pasta
1 lemon, juiced
1 (4-1/2 ounce) can tomato paste
salt to taste
1. Place the meat, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, nutmeg, butter, celery, onion, and cilantro into an 8-quart stock pot on low heat. Stir for 5 minutes. Drain the tomatoes (reserving the juice) and add them to the mixture along with the paste. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Pour tomato juice, 7 cups water, and lentils into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Let soup simmer covered for at least 2 hours.
3. About 10 minutes before serving turn the heat to medium-high, and add the chickpeas and noodles to the soup. Allow to cook 10 minutes.
4. Beat together eggs and lemon juice. Then stir the lemony eggs into the stock. Continue stirring slowly to create long egg strands and to thicken the soup.
Yields: 6-8 servings