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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Hareera Soup, the most IN soup these days

Easy  | Serves 4
Hareera can be served as a starter to a meal, or as a wholesome meal on its own.
It is Delicious!! 

It seems that Hareera soup has taken centre stage these days. Wherever you go, all places are offering Hareera. Right enough, it is a seriously delicious soup! Hareera is a gem in the Moroccon cuisine that is an old Ramadan Tradition. Nowadays, it swept through the region, claiming its rightful place at the top. It has become the NEW Lentil Soup! So if you want to be IN, food-wise, then you have got to serve Hareera this Ramadan :)

You can use dried chickpeas, or canned chickpeas.
The dried ones, take longer to cook, the canned ones
come in handy when in a hurry.

There are many variations to the recipe, some make it with finely chopped lamb pieces, others keep vegetarian. Some add celery, leeks and other vegetables, some keep it simple. I have played around a bit with this soup till I found the preparation I love the most: this recipe. I know you will love this one, but why not take the time and experiment with it to come up with Your version of this Ramadan classic?

So here is to this Ramadan's star soup....

You Need
100g dried or canned chickpeas, soak dried chickpeas over night
Saffron threads
1/2 cup brown lentils, washed and drained
1/4 cup brown rice, washed and drained
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 red tomatoes, pureed
2 tsp tomato paste, diluted in 1/2 cup water
1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
a pinch of Saffron threads
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt & Black Pepper
1.5 ltrs water
fried onions for garnish

If using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight, then drain the next morning and rinse. If using canned, then drain them and rinse them with cold water. I usually peel off the thin skin on chickpeas, I find that peeled chickpeas have a better texture; but this is totally optional.

In a medium pot, place the chickpeas with 1.5 ltrs of water and slowly bring to a boil. Skim the surface as foam starts to form. Add cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 60 minutes for dried chickpeas and 30 minutes for canned chickpeas. Add the lentils and rice, bring to a boil and simmer for a further 30 minutes.

The addition of turmeric & saffron will colour the onions yellow

Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat olive oil together with chopped onions, and gently soften without browning. Rub the saffron between your fingers and add to the onions, together with the salt, turmeric, black pepper, ground ginger and stir to coat.

Once the onions are translucent, add the chopped coriander and cook stirring for 5 minutes.

Add tomato puree and paste (diluted in 1/2 cup water) to the coriander and onion mixture and cook stirring till it bubbles slightly. Add this mixture to the chickpeas mixture and stir to incorporate. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Adjust liquid by adding more water if needed.

Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with fried onions and a sprinkle of fresh finely chopped parsley.

Dive in!!
Ramadan Kareem!

Do You have a Ramadan Favourite Soup? One which you go for very frequently. Which one is it? Share your thoughts with me, leave me a comment...
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