Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Baby, it's cold outside

And a young girls thoughts turn towards a steaming bowl of delicious soup.

I made this one last weekend, and it was great. Hearty, thick, sustaining. Fabulously easy, all thrown in the one pot. The family even ate it without complaint! How I can have borne a non-soup lover I don't know. Still it's rather astounding to be able to tell the 7 year old "Look it's got two of your favourite things in it- chickpeas and lentils" and have him eat it with gusto.

The recipe makes a reasonable amount, but I'd consider a double recipe next time. Too much of a good thing is barely enough after all. I used fresh ginger, when I think he means ground. I also threw in a slug of leftover red wine (what? leftover red, whoever heard of such a thing?), some very nice local Printhe Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz that we'd enjoyed the night before.

Moroccan Lamb and Chickpea Soup

Serves 6

400g cubed lamb shoulder of neck
2 litres water, or chicken or lamb stock
1 onion, finely chopped
100g lentils
400g canned chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground saffron
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
400g canned chickpeas, drained
2 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped
3 tsp orzo pasta or crushed vermicelli
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Place the lamb in a large pot with the water or stock and bring to the boil, skimming off any froth.

Add the onion, lentils, tomatoes, tomato paste, turmeric, cinnamon sticks, cinnamon, saffron, ginger, salt and pepper, and simmer gently, partly covered, for an hour or until the meat is tender.

Add the chickpeas, celery and pasta, and simmer for 15 minutes. Mash a few chickpeas into the soup to thicken it. Add the lemon juice and coriander, stir through, and serve with lemon wedges.

Terry Durack
SMH Good Weekend
April 25-27, 2008

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