Month of May: “Together: Our Community Cookbook” Recipe: Jennifer Fatima Odonkor’s Harira or Moroccan Chickpea Soup

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” Twyla Tharp

Moroccan chickpea soup with dates is a simple inexpensive soup made from ingredients that seem as though they would clash but surprisingly don’t. Somehow it all works and it is delicious.

Below is a just a tiny sampling of art work Abby made throughout the years. I know she struggled her whole life with the deep need to create in contrast with the constant call of responsibilities to earn a living and raise a family. Many times along the way she started art businesses, participated in art shows as well as endless side hustles. I had always hoped she would have partnered up with some wealthy person so she could stay at home and unleash all that ever flowing artistic energy. Even though that never came to be, she forged ahead in spite of her many hardships and obstacles and generously shared with us so many many beautiful creations along the way. Whether it was baskets, weavings, ceramics, oil painting, charcoal drawing, soft fiber sculpture, stained glass, willow furniture or barn boards…Abby could do it all.

Ingredients: 2 onions roughly chopped, 4 celery sticks chopped, 1 can diced tomatoes, > 1 cup cilantro, 1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, 1 tsp. ground pepper, 1/2 tsp. white pepper, 1.5 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp ginger, 1/5 tsp olive oil, 1 quart boiling water, 1/2 can chickpeas rinsed and skins removed, 1/3 cup brown rice vermicelli noodles broke in small pieces, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp. ghee, handful of dates.

1.Place the onions, celery, fresh herbs and tomatoes in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour the ingredients into a large pot. Add spices and salt and olive oil and bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the boiling water, turn up the heat and boil for 20-25 minutes until thickened. Add the chickpeas and noodles, turn heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Whisk the egg along with the ghee, whisking all the time for 5 minutes. Make sure the heat is very low.

4.Serve the soup with chopped dates and bread. Squeeze a lemon wedge in if desired.

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