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A LITTLE WARMTH IN THE SUKKAH

A Little Warmth in the Sukkah 

 

This time of year, there is nothing better than a rich bowl of soup to warm the soul. These two recipes are jam-packed with Middle Eastern flavors, turning simple ingredients into something super-fancy for your Sukkos meal. I wouldn’t worry about having any leftovers, but if you do happen to have any, these soups taste better with time!  Chag Sameach from my kitchen to yours!

YEMENITE SOUP

 

Marak Temani or Yemenite soup is traditionally made with chicken or beef and seasoned with a unique spice blend called Hawaij. In this recipe I broke down the spices to make it easy for anyone to make at home!

 

1lb. boneless short rib, cut into cubes (or stew meat chunks)

2 tomatoes, minced

1 onion, minced

2 garlic cloves

3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into chunks

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

1 tsp. turmeric 

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 tbs. oil

1 tsp. salt, more to taste 

2 tbs. fresh parsley, minced (or cilantro)

6 cups water

 

  1. In a medium pot, heat the oil on high heat and brown beef.
  2. Once the meat is browned, add the tomato and onion and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes until the tomatoes have softened.
  3. Add the spices, add the salt, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium low flame for two hours.
  4. After two hours, add the potato, carrot, and parsley. Adjust salt levels if needed. Cook for another hour. 

HARIRA (MOROCCAN CHICKPEA SOUP)

 

Harira is a traditional Moroccan soup made with chickpeas and vegetables. Although there are a few ways to prepare this dish, I chose to make it with potatoes and noodles to add extra creaminess and heartiness to the soup.

 

3 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 celery stalk, minced

1 yellow onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbs. oil

1 tsp. turmeric 

1/2 tsp. sweet paprika 

1 tsp. cumin 

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tsp. salt, more to taste 

2 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, drained 

3 1/2 cups water 

4 tbs. fresh parsley or cilantro, minced

Cooked noodles, for serving (optional)

 

  1. Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and sauté the potatoes, onion, celery, garlic, and chickpeas. Cook for 3-5 minutes.

 

  1. Add the cilantro, salt, and other spices, then cover with water. Bring to a boil then lower the flame to medium low. Simmer for 25 minutes.

 

  1. Blend most of the soup, leaving out chunks of potato and some whole chickpeas. Pour back into the pot and bring to a boil. Shut the flame and serve hot with cooked noodles. 

 

TIP: For reheating, add a splash of water to thin out the soup, if needed.

 

CHEF’S TIP

 

TIPS FOR A MORE FLAVORFUL SOUP

 

  1. Sauté your base: This step cannot be skipped! If there is protein in the soup (chicken or beef) make sure you sear it on a high flame until it is browned on all sides. Same goes for vegetable-based soups – the more color achieved by browning, the more flavor in the soup.

 

  1. Use herbs: Fresh or dry herbs impart a lot of depth of flavor to soups. This helps brighten the soup, especially if you’re cooking with canned or frozen vegetables. For maximum flavor, add fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, or mint at the end of the cooking process.

 

  1. Season aggressively: Since soups are mainly made up of water, it’s important to season aggressively especially if you’re not cooking with stocks or broths. It’s best to add seasoning in the sautéing process, which will allow the spices to bloom. If your soup contains starch such as potatoes or beans, you may need to season with a little extra salt. 

 

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