While I was staying in Marrakesh, the diffa, or feast, comprising many courses was served one night.
There were several meat dishes, so I asked if I could eat only non-meat ones. They were happy for that and charged very little—perhaps because the meat dishes were the centerpiece. This bean soup, harira, is often made with lamb, but this is a meatless version. I sometimes add peas or other veg to use them up.
Spicy Bean Soup
1 onion, chopped
1 can garbanzos/chickpeas
1 can white kidney or borlotti beans
1 can tomatoes
½ teaspoon saffron threads
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ green chili, deseeded and chopped or ¼ teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons cilantro/coriander, chopped
2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
2 quarts / 2 liters stock
½ cup / 100 grams rice
1 tablespoon flour
Salt and pepper
Using a saucepan, gently fry the onion and then add the garbanzos/chickpeas, beans, tomatoes, saffron, cinnamon and chili/powder.
Then put in one tablespoon of the parsley plus the cilantro/coriander, the lemon juice and seasoning.
Stir well and cook for 5 minutes.
Now pour in the stock and then add the rice. Stir well and boil for 10 to 15 minutes until the rice is soft.
While that is cooking, mix the flour with a little water to make a roux and stir this into the soup.
Adjust the seasonings and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Serve with the remaining parsley on top.
Reprinted with permission from
One World Vegetarian Cookbook
Troth Wells 2011, Interlink Books, 978-1-56656-834-0, $35 hb, www.interlinkbooks.com.
Troth Wells is an Oxford-based food writer and author of cookbooks including also The Spices of Life (2001), Global Vegetarian Cooking (2010) and Small Planet, Small Plates: Earth-Friendly Vegetarian Recipes (2012), all published by Interlink Books.