Eddie Aldape, CBF field personnel in Spain
There’s always room at the Aldapes’ table as Eddie and Macarena open their home and hearts to migrants from North Africa. Your generous gifts to the Offering for Global Missions ensure their long-term presence. #cultivatingbelovedcommunity. Their recipe is Morracan Harira.
Harira is a zesty tomato, chickpea and lentil soup which is commonly served to break the fast during the month-long observation of Ramadan. It is also one of the favorite soups served in Moroccan homes. Some say that because of the smooth silky texture of the soup, Harira gets its name from the Arabic word for silk which is “harir.”
Prep ingredients in advance:
Soak the chickpeas overnight. The next day, drain and peel them. This is easily done by pressing chickpeas one-by-one between your forefinger and thumb or by rubbing all the chickpeas vigorously in a kitchen towel.
Pick through the lentils to remove any stones and debris and set aside until ready to use.
Stew the tomatoes then pass them through a food processor to make a puree, discarding the skins and seeds.
Grate the onion or process it to a thick pulp in a food processor.
Wash and finely chop the celery and set aside. Remove and discard large pieces of stem from the parsley and cilantro. Wash the parsley and cilantro and leave to drain thoroughly before chopping finely by hand or in a food processor. (The chopped herbs may be mixed.)
Make the soup:
In a six-quart or larger pressure cooker or stock pot, brown the meat in oil over medium heat. Add the soup bones, peeled chickpeas, pureed tomatoes, grated onion, spices, and three cups (710 ml) of water. Bring to a boil; cover, and cook with medium pressure for 25 minutes (or simmer for 50 to 60 minutes).
Add the lentils, tomato paste mixture, chopped herbs and 8.5 cups (2 liters) water. Bring to a boil and cover.
Cook the soup with pressure for 45 minutes (or simmer for 90 minutes) before stirring in the broken vermicelli. Continue simmering for a few minutes until the vermicelli is tender.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Thicken the soup to a silky, cream-like consistency by gradually adding the flour and water mixture, stirring constantly to ensure that it’s well-blended. Use only as much as is needed to make the soup as thick as you like.
Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any foam that forms on the surface. Remove from the heat and serve.
· To make gluten-free harira, use cornstarch, tapioca starch or another substitute for the flour to thicken the soup at the end of cooking.