It may be summer, but soups all year round provide hearty, nutritional, and inexpensive quick one-pot meals. Even in the summer, I eat hot soups because they provide a great substantial meal after a hard work day and warms my heart for a relaxing meal like nothing else for dinners. Left-over soups can be frozen for quick after work meals in individual serving size containers, or just freeze in one large container to feed many after work.
Although served year end round in Morocco, Haira is best known as the traditional Moroccan soup that is served during the Holy month of Ramadan for dinner and to break the fasting at sunset during Ramadan.
The recipe below is the most basic and quick version of this soup. Preparation and cooking will take about 1 hour total; but, it simmers for 40 minutes so you can just prep for 5- 10 minutes and let the soup do its thing. You can add additional vegetables such as carrots, eggplant, and zucchini as many versions do. The addition of type and amount of vegetable is up to you...have some fun and add what you like. The basic recipe is the foundation that I have included below. This version is also frequently eaten as is without additional vegetables. Instead of using fresh parsley and cilantro, I used the mustard greens for a peppery taste and Swiss Chards for that bitter taste like cilantro in honor of our African American heritage also stemming from this continent of Africa as Morocco. Cinnamon, ginger, lentils, and pasta are main ingredients to every Haira soup no matter how you change the versions. Serve with warmed pita and plain organic yogurt as a side for a more authentic meal. I really enjoyed making and eating this soup. It was quick and filling. It warmed my insides; and, made me dream of this beautiful country and its beautiful people.
Morrocan Haira Soup
1 large onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves or 4 medium garlic cloves diced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp smoked ground chipotle pepper or chili pepper
1 cup fresh mustard greens, chopped
1 cup fresh Swiss Chards, chopped with stems
1 can diced roasted garlic tomatoes
5 cups of water with vegetable bouillon cube dissolved
1 can 15 1/2 oz chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dried lentils
1/2 cup orzo pasta (any pasta can be substituted)
1 TBSP cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup of water
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP tomato paste
How to prepare:
1. Saute onions and garlic in extra virgin olive oil for a minute.
2. Add tomatoes and stir for 2 minutes
3. Add 5 cups of water, bouillon, and lentils. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 40 minutes or until lentils are tender.
5. Add chickpeas and pasta. Cook for 7-8 minutes until or until pasta al dente
6. Add cornstarch dissolve din water to soup, and stir.
7. Add lemon juice and tomato paste.
8. Simmer soup until it thickens (approx 5 mins more).
Serve as is, or with warm pita and organic yogurt on the side. What a cuddly warm and home feeling for the heart, mind, body, and soul :)
~ Sister Vegetarian