Hello, Morocco. I have to say, of all the clients and countries we have worked with over the years, Morocco stands out as one of the more mysterious and interesting places we have been able to explore. The food, culture and people are magical, and work trips were always bordering on vacation. I would always seek to add a few free days to enjoy the country.
This spicy soup is a variation of Harira, a spiced vegetable soup, with some Western touches added to it. The egg-lemon sauce at the end reminds me of our favorite Greek lemon egg soup.
- 2 cups yellow onion, peeled and rough chopped
- 2 large shallots, rough chopped
- 2 to 3 red hot chili peppers, stem removed, chopped w/ seeds remaining (the amount of peppers is based on your own heat index, I prefer two good sized ones — that is enough for a bit of a kick)
- 3 large carrots, peeled and rough chopped
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil, chopped and divided
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped and divided
- 2 cups Rao’s marinara tomato sauce
- 10 cups of chicken stock, divided
- 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans, a/k/a chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 cups button mushrooms, cleaned with a paper towel, rough chopped
- 2 cups of small frozen shrimp, peeled, deveined and no tail)
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 extra large egg
- 2 Lemons, zested and juiced (1/2 cup of juice whisked with the zest)
- Extra virgin garlic red pepper olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Lemon slices for garnish
- Heat a 8 quart stock pot (Le Creuset is the most reliable, long-lasting, and easiest to clean) over medium heat, then drizzle enough garlic, red pepper and olive oil to cover the bottom. Sauté the onions, shallots, chili peppers, carrots and celery until the onions turn translucent. Do not brown the vegetables.
- Stir in the turmeric and cumin, sauté for 2 minutes. Add a cup each of the cilantro and basil. Stir in a teaspoon of salt, then the tomato sauce and 8 cups of the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 25 minutes.
- Add the lentils, mushrooms and chickpeas, and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes. Whisk together the egg and remaining two cups of chicken stock and flour, then add mixture to soup and simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in the remaining cilantro and basil, top with freshly sliced lemon, salt and pepper to taste.