Called 'Harira' in Morocco, if you like the slightly tart flavor of Avgolemono soup (that delicious Greek lemon, rice and chicken soup) then you will probably like this one, too. Harira is traditionally made with lamb, but I liked the idea of lightening the recipe up with chicken. It is so different, like nothing I had tasted before, but so very tasty. And healthy, to boot!
This would make an equally delicious vegan stew, simply by negating the chicken and adding more chickpeas.
1 small onion, peeled and chopped small
1, 14 oz can chopped tomatoes (unseasoned), including juice
1, 14 oz can water (use the empty tomato can...)
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1, 2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
1 chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
2 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin removed)
A good pinch of saffron threads
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 can chickpeas, drained
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup cold water
2 oz, vermicelli, broken into pieces
Sea salt for seasoning
1) Dump the first 10 ingredients into a large pot, cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes.
2) After the soup has simmered for 45-60 minutes, remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Then add to the pot the parsley, cilantro, chickpeas and lemon juice. Simmer gently as you shred the chicken.
3) Stir the flour with 1/4 cup cold water until it is smooth without lumps. Pour that into the stew (this will thicken it) and add in the shredded chicken. Bring it back up to a simmer and add in the broken vermicelli. Simmer until the pasta is just cooked, then taste for seasoning, it will probably need salt-- do not be afraid of salt!
I pass Sambal Oelek with this when I serve it to spice up the stew, for those who want it (me, please!!). Serve with Pita bread.
Makes 4 main course servings.