Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Day 5: For Health!

Today I prepared, Harira, a traditional Moroccan soup with lentils and chickpeas that is served to break fast in the holy month of Ramadan. I got the recipe out of Moosewood's Low-Fat Favorites, which is one of my favorite cookbooks. I stuck pretty much to the recipe though I did replace the potatoes with parsnips and chose to cook the lentils with the soup rather than precook them as the original recipe suggests. It turned out fine, though next time I would go ahead and use the potatoes because parsnips have too much flavor and, I thought, took over the flavors of the soup. Here is the soup as I prepared it:


2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp coriander
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup diced parsnips
6 cups vegetable stock
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup dry brown lentils
1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
pinch of saffron
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Fresh chopped cilantro
plain yogurt

Heat olive oil and cook onions for 2-3 minutes. Add spices and ginger and cook for a few more minutes to release flavor. Add carrots, celery, parsnips, and lentils and stir thoroughly. Add stock and tomatoes and cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Add chickpeas and cook for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, pinch of saffron, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with plain yogurt and fresh cilantro as garnish.

Jay's review:

3 yums (out of 5). Yogurt was a nice touch.