Moroccan Bean Soup:
Another delicious all-vegetarian and inexpensive Moroccan soup.
You’ll be happy to have preserved lemons on hand.
They do wonders for bean and many other dishes. And if you don’t, settle today for lemon zest, and set aside just a few minutes to make a batch: it will last you a good few months, and will enhance many delicious dishes.
I love to use large lima beans for this bean soup:
They taste and look funky, and need minimal (sometimes no) soaking. They have a way of partially dissolving in the soup during cooking, making it all and once creamy and chunky: This is what gives this soup its rustic look and hearty texture. But of course any white beans will do.
No canned beans, please!
This delicious bean soup requires just the soaking time as a quick prep step: Using canned beans in a desire to cut cooking time will not yield the same results, not by a long shot. Please soak the beans, give the bean soup the time it needs to reach its full texture and deliciousness, and enjoy the difference! Use them in a pinch, but be prepared to lose some of the exciting flavors that justly reward the cook-from-scratch.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 large onions, cut in 8
- 6 ribs celery, peeled
- 8 large cloves garlic
- 3 quarts (12 cups) water
- 1 pound large lima beans or other white beans, soaked overnight
- 4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- A good pinch red pepper flakes, or a little more to taste to taste
- Salt to taste
- 1 preserved lemon, peel only, thoroughly rinsed (settle for 2 tablespoons lemon zest)
- 1 bunch flat parsley
- 1 small bunch cilantro, tough ends discarded
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- Juice of one lemon
Heat the oil in a wide heavy pot.
In a food processor, coarsely grind the onions, celery and garlic. Add to the pot and sauté until translucent. Add the water, beans, tomatoes, turmeric, paprika, cayenne and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium low and cook covered for about 2 hours or until the beans are very soft and start breaking up and dispersing in the liquid.
In a food processor, finely grind the preserved lemon peel, parsley and cilantro. Stir the ground mixture, the cumin and lemon juice into the soup, and cook another 10 minutes. Adjust the texture and seasonings.
Makes a dozen ample servings