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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Soup Weather

Wait, I started this post LAST WEEK! News flash, it's sunny now!

It's been in the 60's around here, as if Los Angeles doesn't know it's July.  Soup weather.  So I made some Harira, Moroccan Stew from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant: Ethnic and Regional Recipes from the Cooks at the Legendary Restaurant (Cookery).  I've made it so many times that I've personalized the recipe.  Here's my updated version:

Vegetable Stock:

4 small/medium unpeeled potatoes, quartered
4 small/med carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 apple, seeded and chopped
2 T apple juice
2 bay leaves
18 peppercorns
15 cups water

Put all in large pot and simmer, covered, for 1 hour, then run through strainer/colander to get the stock. Freeze what you don't need for recipe. It's not an exact science. If you have extra of some vegetable or not enough of another, throw it in.


1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
2 1/2 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 1/2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 small potatoes, chopped
2 small carrots, diced
6 small tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 cups tomato juice (I cut out the cores of tomatoes, put them in the blender and use this as juice)
6 cups vegetable stock
1 medium zuchinni, finely chopped
3/4 cups curly vermicelli, crumbled (can use angel hair or other pasta)
1 1/2 cups canned or cooked chick peas (I dump in the whole can)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
parsley for garnish
In a soup pot, saute the onions and celery in the oil until the onions are translucent. Add the spices, potatoes, and carrots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. (This is the part where the spices will get browned and overcooked if you don't stir!)

Mix in the chopped tomatoes, tomato juice, and vegetable stock and simmer until all of the vegetables are almost tender.

Add the zucchini and vermicelli and simmer for about 5 minutes longer. Mix in the chick peas, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley.

Note: If you don't have all of these spices, you can buy them by the ounce at Sprouts, Boney's...some of the Whole Foods also have bulk spices. And I think I have a lifetime supply of turmeric so you could take some next time you're at my place!