From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is an easy recipe that's nice to have in the hopper on those busy days that lead up to and follow the holidays. The recipe is for a Moroccan-style vegetable soup that's patterned after harira, a fragrant tomato and lentil soup that many associate with the month of Ramadan, when it is served with meals that start or end the day's fast. Like many Moroccan dishes this one is both fragrant and tasty and the ease with which it comes together makes it especially attractive for a light family meal. Most versions of the soup contain meat which necessitates a long simmer. This vegetarian version, courtesy of Food and Wine magazine, can be on the table in less than an hour. It has become a lunch favorite of ours. I hope you will give it a try. Here's how this flavorful soup is made.
Lentil and Chickpea Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Food and Wine magazine
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 cup lentils
6-1/2 cups water
1-3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 15-ounce can)
1-2/3 cups drained and rinsed canned chickpeas (one 15-ounce can)
1/3 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
1) Melt butter in a large pot over moderately low heat. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and lentils.
2) Add water and tomatoes to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Add chickpeas and simmer 5 minutes longer. Stir in the cilantro or parsley. Serve hot. Yield: 4 servings.
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