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Chourba Smida

Greetings all my friends out in the Blogosphere!

Although we have entered into Spring already here, in Algeria the weather usually takes turns from being very warm to cold rains. These last few days the sun has very discreet. Monsoon like rains that will chill your bones call for a warming soup!

To tell you, I love soups! I grew up on light brothy chicken soup but I really favour a soup with thick consistency and with a lot of ingredients. Such as a vegetable veloute or the Algerian  Harira or Chourba Hamra. These types of soups easily find their way to our table,  accompanying a delicious warm salad, quiche, meat, or anything yummy baked goods ...

 Today I am presenting the traditional Algerian soup called Smida which in Arabe means "semolina". This soup is made with semolina and looks just like its cousin Chourba hamra cousin.
FYI smida means semoulina in Derja, the language of Algeria!

Chourba Smida

  • Few small  pieces of lamb (sans fat)
  • 2 stalks of  of celery (with leaves)
  • Generous handful of mint, parsley and cilantro
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • handful of chickpeas
  • 1 cup large or medium grained semolina (moyen or grosse semoule as it called here)
  • 2 onions, fine dice
  • 1 cup of sweet peas
  • 2 carrots, diced medium
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 beef or lamb bouillon (or stock
  • saffron
  • 1/2  tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ras el Hanout
  • Harissa (optional)
  • salt/ pepper/oil
  • drizzle of olive oil to serve
- Brown the meat in oil.- Add in the onions, tomatoes, carrots, celery and half of the bunch of parsley.; saute for about 5m until the vegetables have sweated abit.

- Now add in the (about 1 -1/2L) chickpeas, water and spices. (and bouillon if you are using)

- Bring up to a boil then allow to simmer for about 30m or until the chickpeas are tender.

- Once the chickpeas are tender, blend the soup with an immersion blender or a regular blender (in small batches) until the soup is a chunky puree state.

- Now place the soup in this stage back onto the fire, add in the sweet peas then simmer for 5m or until the peas are tender.

- Then add in the semolina, stirring so that it does not stick to the bottom of your pot.

- Allow it to simmer for 15m until the semolina swells.
(If you find your soup very thick add water (and a bit of spice), so instead you feel light enough add a little corn starch in a slurry)

To serve, ladle the soups in deep bowls, garnishing each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of mint, cilantro and parsely. Many also like to squeeze abit of lemon over the soup or serve a sedge or two of lemon along side the soup.

Serving this soup with some dates and m'hadjeb is ideal ... and something I do often with my family (esp for days of fasting)

If you do not have any kind of robocoupe or blender, you can easily grate the vegetables with a grater or use a food mill to make them into almost puree. It will break down in the cooking process.

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