Harira Soup — After a Fashion, Northern Virginia

Suddenly it is March again

I keep a small book of recipes from over the years. I’ve just added this one.

1 lb. ground lamb
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 Tablespoons butter (a cup of chicken stock can substitute)
Olive Oil
2 yellow or white onions, chopped spoon size
1/2 cup parsley, chopped not minced
1 small can of tomato sauce
2 cans Lentil Soup (avoid brands that add more than lentils)
1 can chickpeas
2 eggs, beaten with the juice of 1/2 lemon
dash of orange zest
If you can find Merguez sausage, a 1/2 lb sliced to bite size is a good addition (taste it first, Merguez is not to everyone’s liking — sorta North African Chorizo).

Sweat the onions in butter and olive oil till nearly clear
Add the chopped parsley
Drain, rinse and add the chickpeas
Puree one can of lentil soup with the tomato sauce and add
Add the other can of lentil soup
Add the spices
Stir
Saute the ground lamb until brown but not “crusty,” separate finely and drain away the fat through a strainer before adding the meat to the soup base
Whip the eggs with lemon juice and orange zest
Drizzle the egg mixture into the soup base while whisking (to avoid clumps of egg)
Simmer an additional 20 minutes.
Store at least over-night

Serve with a regionally appropriate bread with a salad of greens, goat cheese, olive slices, golden raisins and perhaps a bit of sweet onion, but not too much. Drizzle salad with olive oil and black pepper and a pinch of ground ginger.

Finish up with pistachio baklava and coffee made with orange water and cinnamon. There are many variations on this soup — some add chunks of braised lamb, some are more tomato-y, some have carrots, some have noodles. The variations seem to be connected to the villages (or the hotels) involved.

Did you know Morocco was the first country to recognize the U.S. as a sovereign nation and has the longest treaty relationship with the U.S.?

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