Wednesday, May 5, 2010

And Now For My Next Trick...

With this weather being so unpredictable - cold, wet and all around miserable - I have been wanting something comforting... a nice bowl of something hot that I can wrap my hands around, to warm me up from the inside and out.

And what better than Moroccan flavours, which seem to be so in right now? This soup has become one of my fast favourites, each mouthful is infused with tangy, sweet, smokey, spicy... I was in Heaven from the very first spoonful and I'm sure you will be too!

Sweet and Sour Moroccan Beef and Chickpea Soup:
(Serves 4)

As comforting as an old pair of pajamas that mold to your body, but contradictory in its fashionability and delectable in taste.


500g Beef Steak Cubes
3 Teaspoons Paprika
3 Teaspoons Cumin
3 Teaspoons Cinnamon
3 Teaspoons Turmeric
2 Teaspoons Dried Chilli (or 1 if you prefer less of a kick)
8 Large Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
2 Large Red Peppers, Deseeded and Quartered
2 Granny Smith Apples, Sliced in Half, Pips Removed
1 Large Onion, Diced
1 Tin Chickpeas (in Brine), Drained
1 Cup Fresh Mint, Roughly Torn
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1-2 Teaspoons Xylitol

Roasted Chickpeas:

1 Tin Chickpeas (in Brine), Drained
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Turmeric
Salt and Pepper
1-2 Teaspoons Olive Oil


Marinade Beef Cubes in Paprika, Cumin, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Dried Chilli and a drop of Olive Oil until you are ready to cook (about 15 minutes)

Place the Tomatoes, Peppers and Apples on a Baking Tray with a drizzle of olive oil and roast in the oven until the skins are black and blistering and the flesh is tender (20-30 minutes)
Fry the Onion in a drop of olive oil, with a sprinkle of salt to prevent it from burning
Add the beef, a little at a time - to prevent liquid from forming, and fry until browned
De-skin the roasted peppers, tomatoes and apples, being careful because they are hot!
Chop the flesh and add it to the pot
Add about half a cup of water to the ingredients in the pot to form a soup-like consistency
Bring to the boil
Marinade 1 Tin of Chickpeas in the Roasted Chickpeas Ingredients and put into the oven to roast until crisp (about 30 minutes - be careful not to burn)
Add the other tin of chickpeas to the soup, along with the cup of fresh mint
Add Salt, Pepper and Xylitol to taste
You may want to add some more spices to enhance the flavour

Simmer for about 20 minutes (or until the chickpeas are cooked and the flavours of the soup have enhanced and amalgamated)
Top the soup with the roasted chickpeas
And enjoy all the comforting, wintery flavours

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