Moroccan Lamb Soup

Mother Nature has been messing with us a lot this past week.  Winter had a lot of periods of spring weather and so far spring has ushered in winter weather.  We’ve had freezing temps and snow.  Not amused!  Fortunately we haven’t had anything in the garden yet and the bulbs seem to be holding their own which is good.

It did present a perfect time for baking and soup last weekend.  I found some nice stewing lamb at the co-op and I was in the mood for Moroccan flavours.  Something to take the chill off.

This is an easy soup to throw together.  In a bowl add 1/2 a cup of flour, a tablespoon of ground tumeric, a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons of paprika.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

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Mix thoroughly.  I got about a pound of lamb for this meal.  Cut it up in small pieces, an inch/2.5cm square or so.  Toss in the flour mixture to coat.

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In a large saucepan heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.  Brown the lamb in the saucepan for several minutes.

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Chop up a small onion and a few cloves of garlic.  Add to the pan and saute for a few more minutes.

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For some reason, I spaced on taking pictures for the next few steps.  Don’t know what I was doing!  Add 4 cups of vegetable bouillon to the pan.  I use a paste mixed with water rather than the dry cubes.  For this I kept it on the light side so the flavour was subtle.  Grate a piece of fresh ginger that is about 1 1/2 inches/3-4 cm square.  Simmer for a couple of hours at a low temp.  Cube an aubergine and add to the soup in the last hour of cooking.  After it simmers for awhile check the seasoning and adjust as needed.  I added a bit more tumeric and paprika to mine.  When the lamb is tender and cooked so it’s falling apart it is ready to serve.

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You can’t go wrong with lovely crusty bread and butter with this.  As warming this soup was I am looking forward to the weather behaving itself so we can get back to grilling and salads.  I am ready for spring!

Morocking the Casbah with Lamb

Now I have that song in my head and it’s my own fault.  🙂  Though we don’t eat it often I really like the Moroccan flavours.  I was first introduced to it by a young woman who came stateside in an arranged marriage at the age of 17.  It was to a really nice guy I knew and he tried hard to make her feel at home.  But it was too much of a culture shock and she didn’t know any English so it didn’t last long.  But in the short time she was here I got introduced to Moroccan food and it’s wonderful.  I remember one dish she made with chicken and couscous.  We ate it the traditional way with our hands round a coffee table as you eat sitting on the floor.  It was a delightful evening.

We had some ground lamb on hand and aubergine to use up so I decided to do lamb meatballs in a Moroccan sauce.  I forgot to buy couscous (it’s been a nutty week) so I served it with rice pilaf.

I prepped the lamb by keeping it simple.  I just added one egg and seasoned with sea salt and pepper.

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After mixing by hand and forming into balls I chopped up the other ingredients for the sauce.  I chopped up 4 cloves of garlic, about 1 1/2″ x 1/2 ” piece of fresh ginger, half an onion, a handful of dried apricots (natural ones are not bright orange once dried!), and about a cup of aubergine.

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In the skillet I heated up a bit of olive oil then browned both sides of the lamb meatballs.  Do not cook these all the way through as they will be finished off in the sauce.

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Set aside and saute the garlic, ginger, and onions.

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Once they soften a bit add the apricots and saute for a couple of minutes then add a cup of vegetable broth.  I kept the broth on the light side as I didn’t want it to overwhelm the other flavours.  You can always add a bit more bouillon if needed which I did.  Add in the aubergine.

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Bring to a simmer.  Add in a teaspoon of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and a few dashes of cumin and cook for a couple of minutes then add in the lamb to finish off.

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Serve over the rice or couscous.

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The kids loved it.  My husband was a bit quiet as he was eating it and I worried he didn’t like it as he is not a fan of aubergine.  However, he finished and said I could make this again.  🙂  Score!  This dish can easily be vegetarian, just take out the lamb.