Moroccan Spiced Lamb Soup
Classic North African spices – ginger, tumericand cinnamon – are combined with chickpeas and lamb to make this hearty, warming soup.
75g / 3oz / 1/2 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight
15g / 1/2oz / 1 tbsp butter
225g / 8oz lamb, cut into cubes
1 onion, cubes
450g / 1lb tomatoes, peeled and chopped
a few celery leaves, chopped
30ml / 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
15ml / 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
2.5ml / 1/2 tsp ground ginger
2.5ml / 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
5ml / 1 tsp ground cinnamon
1.75 litres / 3 pints / 7 1/2 cups water
75g / 3oz / scant 1/2 cup green lentils
75g / 3oz vermicelli or soup pasta
2 egg yolks
juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon
salt and ground black pepper
fresh coriander (cilantro), to garnish
lemon wedges, to serve
Drain the chickpeas, rinse under cold water and set aside. Melt the butter in a large flameproof casserole or pan and fry the lamb and onion for 2 -3 minutes, stirring, until the lamb is just browned.
Add the chopped tomatoes, celery leaves, herbs and spices and season well with ground black pepper. Cook for about 1 minute, then stir in the water and add the green lentils and the soaked drained and rinsed chickpeas.
Slowly bring to the boil and skim the surface to remove the froth. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 2 hours, or until the chickpeas are very tender.
Season with salt and pepper, then add the vermicelli or soup pasta to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes until it is just tender. If the soup is very thick at this stage, add a little more water.
Beat the egg yolks with the lemon juice and stir into the simmering soup. Immediately remove the soup from the heat and stir until thickened. Pour into warmed serving bowls and garnish with plenty of fresh coriander. Serve the soup with lemon wedges.
If you have forgotten to soak the chickpeas overnight, place them in a pan with about four times their volume of cold water. Bring very slowly to the boil, then cover the pan, remove it from heat and leave to stand for 45 minutes before using as described in the recipe.moroccan lamb casserole