For the End of Ramadan
This is my second time typing this. The former one briefly appeared before Typepad decided to randomly delete it. Sigh.
Well, I'm not a Muslim, but Allah was influencing me yesterday because I pulled out a clipping of a recipe for Harira, Moroccan Chickpea Soup, that I cut from Gourmet magazine eons ago. It's a traditional break-the-fast food (at least according to the intro in the magazine) during Ramadan, which ended yesterday. Not quite at the level of an Eid feast, but I still think it's appropriate that I happened to make it at the end of the holy month. It may be a simple dish, but my tastebuds were having a festival.
1 c dried chickpeas
8 c water
1 35 oz can whole tomatoes [I used 2 reg sized cans of diced]--pureed coarsely
1 lg onion finely chopped
1 small celery rib w/ leaves finely chopped [no leaves on mine]
3 T. unsalted butter [I used 2 T of salted w/ 1 T Olive Oil]
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
4 c vegetable broth
1 c lentils [I used french green]
2 oz cappellini, broken into 1 in. pieces
1/2 c fresh parsley [I used dried]
Soak chickpeas in water to cover to 2 inches overnight or 8-12 hrs. Rinse & add them w/ 8 c of water into large pot. Simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hrs. Remove from heat and drain, reserving liquid. If you have less than 2 c, add to make 2 c.
Cook onion & celery in butter over moderately low heat. Add spices and cook approx. 3 min. Stir in tomatoes, 1/2 the cilantro, chickpeas, reserved liquid, broth, & lentils. Bring to a boil and simmer 35 min. Stir in pasta and cook approx. 3 min until tender. Add rest of cilantro, parsley, & salt to taste. Makes 6 servings as a main course (may I suggest a crusty baguette?)
Bon Appetit and Insha'allah, you'll love it as much as I did!