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    Saturday, February 02, 2008


    This recipe might not be the right choice for Super Bowl Sunday, so that's why we're making it tonight. This is our second time making Moroccan Harira and it's a fun alternative to the usual minestrones and stews that you might usually make.

    This traditional soup is thickened with a tadouira—a mixture of flour, tomato paste, and cilantro—and served with lemon wedges. Because of the vermicelli, the soup may thicken when cooled—simply add a little more water or broth when reheating.

    ½ cup green lentils
    1 Tbs. olive oil
    1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
    ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
    ½ cup chopped cilantro
    ½ tsp. ground ginger
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 15-oz. can chopped tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
    2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
    1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    ½ cup vermicelli
    Lemon wedges, for garnish

    2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
    ¼ cup chopped cilantro
    2 Tbs. lemon juice
    1 Tbs. tomato paste

    1. To make Harira: Cook lentils in pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes. Drain.
    2. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, parsley, cilantro, ginger, and cinnamon; sauté 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Stir in tomatoes, and sauté 5 minutes more.
    3. Stir in broth, chickpeas, lentils, reserved tomato liquid, and 3 cups water. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
    4. To make Tadouira: Whisk flour with 1 cup water in bowl. Whisk in cilantro, lemon juice, and tomato paste. Stir Tadouira and vermicelli into Harira, and cook 3 minutes, or until noodles are soft. Serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy while watching Casablanca.