Harira Soup

**We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming of sugar, sugar, and more sugar to bring you an actual dinner item.**

I love making soup. You just throw all this stuff in a pot and let it simmer, then it’s done and delicious. And it’s an excuse to have hearty, starchy bread. I embarked on my latest soup experiment because I had a bunch of leftover chicken from Christmas dinner, and I had actually made the effort to boil the chicken carcass to make stock. It was my first time making chicken stock, and it was super easy.

(Here’s how: Just throw the chicken carcass* into a pot with a couple of quarts of water, chop up an onion, a carrot, and a stick of celery and add them to the pot, then season with a bunch of salt and pepper. Bring it all to a boil and then let it simmer for 2 hours, uncovered. Strain the broth into a large bowl and let it cool, then refrigerate it overnight and skim off the fat in the morning. You’ll see that the stock has turned into a gel, which is kind of strange if you’re not expecting it. (Fortunately, I had recently seen Terwilliger’s mom make some chicken stock, so I wasn’t horrified when my chilled stock turned into gel. It’s still pretty weird to see, though.) *If you don’t like the term “carcass,” feel free to call it the chicken muffin or something.)

For the resulting soup, I mainly followed a recipe from Enlightened Soups for harira, a Moroccan stew with chickpeas and spices, but I varied the amount of ingredients and threw in a handful of leftover cooked kale at the end. The recipe below is my adapted version.

Ingredients:

5 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 & 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes with juice
1 14-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 c. lentils
1/4 c. long grain rice
1 – 2 cups cooked chicken, coarsely chopped/shredded
1/2 – 1 cup cooked kale
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, season with salt and pepper, and saute for 5 minutes. Add cumin and ginger and stir for 1 minute more.

Add stock, broth, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, lentils, and rice, and bring to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to a simmer, cover the saucepan, and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until rice is cooked and lentils are soft.

Stir in chicken and kale and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in parsley and cilantro just before serving.

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