This gorgeous rich vegan version of Harira, the classic Moroccan soup eaten to break the fast of Ramadan, has been adapted from a recipe by Isa Chandra Moscovitz in her essential vegan cookbook, Isa Does It. Easy, and a great gateway for people who swear they hate eggplant, which dissolves into the soup to become undetectable.
1 T olive oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 t salt
2 cloves minced garlic
1 T minced fresh ginger
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups broth
1/2 # peeled eggplant, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup green or brown lentils
1 t sweet paprika
1/2 t saffron threads or turmeric
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted or with hot peppers if desired
2 ounces thin noodles (angel hair or ramen)
3/4 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed if canned (about 1/2 a can)
2–3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint and cilantro
Heat a pan that will easily hold 2 quarts of soup over med high heat. When hot, add olive oil. Saute the onion with a little salt 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and stir another minute, til fragrant, reducing heat to medium if necessary.
Deglaze the pot with a splash of broth, then add eggplant, lentils, and remaining spices. Add ONLY 2 cups of broth; this way the soup boils faster and breaks down the lentils and eggplants, which is key to get the rich texture of the soup.
Cover the pot (but not too tight, you want steam to escape) and boil the soup, lowering the heat to keep a low boil for about 20 minutes total. Toward the end, add the remaining broth, the tomatoes, and the pasta and let the soup boil enough to cook the pasta (see package directions). When pasta is al dente, stir in the chickpeas. Top the soup with the fresh herbs.
This meal goes beautifully your favorite flatbread. Recipe adapted from Isa Does It, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, ©2013, Little Brown and Company. New York.