Lebanese Soup with Moghrabieh

Lebanese Soup with Moghrabieh

I started watching Glee this season primarily because I love Jane Lynch! I mean, for me, the kids and Glee club itself are largely secondary to the few moments of phenomenal presence that Jane brings to the screen. That said, they do put on good shows and I am a sucker for song and dance although I am thoroughly inept at both. Or, perhaps that's the reason for my affinity to this art form ... :)

Yesterday's episode of Glee was a rerun from the last season. The best moment of the episode was when the kids from the school for the deaf performed John Lennon's Imagine. I LOVE that song. I love the lyrics and the song would be so perfect for any period of time in human history ... :)

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

Lebanese Soup close up

There are songs and there are songs. There are those that can set a mood and there are those that befit a mood. Happy songs, romantic songs, poignant songs, songs that speak to you, songs that bring people together and songs that make you grow stronger. When words fail, music can perfectly fill the vacuum and say so much more and so much better. Music can, indeed, communicate.

I tend to enjoy the classics in any genre of music. Lady Gaga may get my feet tapping today but it's the Imagines, Stairways to Heavens and Sounds of Silence that I keep going back to, when it's raining outside and I sit by the window and watch the drops coming down while I sip slowly on my mug of hot tea or when I am just in the mood for good music.

Picture 092 copy copy1

So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
and nothing else matters

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say
and nothing else matters

Anyway, as you can see, music means much to me; I have rambled on for a whole post when all I really intended was to introduce this Lebanese Soup I made for the Taste of Lebanon Monthly Mingle hosted by Beth. She had sent me a wonderful Lebanese pantry kit a few months back. Since then, I have used the flavors of Lebanon like Z'atar, Na'Na in various dishes but I had not yet made a comprehensive dish of the region.

Lebanese Soup with Moghrabieh 1

This soup is really a one pot meal. The addition of the Moghrabieh, Lebanese couscous, adds a hearty touch to the soup. The couscous itself plumps up absorbing all the flavors of the soup nicely. The harissa adds a nice kick that makes this a wonderfully warm, inviting and filling soup, perfect for a chilly day with this in the background...


And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The truth will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll ................

Lebanese Soup with Moghrabieh

Lebanese Soup with Moghrabieh 4

1 large onion, diced fine
3 cloves of garlic, minced
5-6 carrots, diced into chunks
3-4 pre-cooked sausages, diced
3 T tomato paste
2 oz olives, chopped
1 cup moghrabieh
8 cups water/broth
1 tsp harissa
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp za'tar
juice of 1 lemon
salt, pepper as needed
chopped parsley for garnish

Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in the soup pot. Saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Add tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the olives, sausages and carrots. Add all the spice elements and season with salt and pepper. Let them cook for a few minutes.

Add the water and bring to a rolling boil. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer, covered for 30 to 45 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. At this point the soup would have reduced to about half the volume. Add the moghrabieh and continue cooking on low until the couscous has plumped up and cooked through. If the soup becomes too thick add water or broth and bring back to a boil. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice.

This soup tastes better with time as the flavors develop deeper. So i recommend having it for dinner if you make it in the morning. Overnight resting would be perfect!