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Chourba Bouktouf | Algerian Vegetable Soup

Loaded with good for you ingredients and full of flavor – this absolutely delicious Bouktouf
soup makes for a wonderful dinner!

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

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Muslims' attitude towards food has decayed in recent years. Obesity is rampant. I have to admit I have been fighting the battle of the bulge. We often see youth preferring to eat at fast-food restaurants then to share a table with their family. And our iftar tables getting more and more eloborate. 

But remember in the Islamic tradition, Muslims have to go through a process of spiritual awakening even in something considered non-celebratory like eating a sandwich, or pouring a drink. There are positive reminders in the proper etiquette which we called `Adab. So that also includes certain habits and mannerisms towards food as well. After ensuring our food is sourced ethically and is not Halal, but halal tayyibb Muslims must begin eating by saying the Basmallah:

(In the name of God, entirely Compassionate, especially Merciful)

But also by eating slowly, chewing and swallowing one mouthful before taking another bite then  ending with a supplication (duat) of praise to our Creator:

(All praise belongs to God)

This mindfulness reinforces the thankful relationship towards food and for the provision of which Muslim believe is given by Allah.

Which brings me to today's recipe. Yum!  There is not an autumn or a winter that passes  I don't cook a warmning bowl soup for my family. A vegetable soup super easy but so good and comforting to warm the body during the rough winter. Right now, I'm in soup mode. For those who have been following me for a while, you know that I have quick and easy recipes to simplify your cooking.

This particular soup is something many will recognize if they have ever been hospitalized in Algeria. Chourba Bouktouf, often called "bouillon" is the Algerian equivalent of "chicken noodle soup". It's really a simple comforting Algerian soup that is lightly prefumed with cumin, cilantro and garlic. A winter vegetable soup that will please everyone, even the children.

So let's get started with the recipe.

Chourba Bouktouf 

 Algerian Vegetable Soup  

soup | yields about 4-6 servings
COOK TIME: 30 min mins


 2 onions, chopped
‣ 2 potatoes, cubed
‣ 3 zuchinni/courgette, cubed
‣ 1 small chunk of pumpkin
‣ 2 carrots, cubed
‣ 2 TBS tomato paste
‣ 2 cloves of garlic
‣ generous pinch of ground cumin
‣ one bunch of cilantro/coriander, chopped
‣ 1 bouillon cube, optional
‣ oil, salt, pepper
‣ Lemon, to taste

1. Heat the oil in the bottom of a soup pot, add the onions and sauté them slowly, longingly, until they are limpid, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the vegetables, garlic, spices, tomato paste and bouillon cube if using. Just barely cover with water, turn the heat to high, and cover. Once brought to a strong simmer, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 15 minutes (until the vegetables are soft)

3. When the vegetables are very soft turn off the heat. Add the herbs, and season to taste with salt. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup to a smooth consistency. Drizzle a bit of the lemon juice on top before serving.
    ⇝ This soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 3days. I wouldn't freeze it.
    ⇝ Some people like to add a bit of cream or cream cheese to this soup before pureeing to make it even more creamy and rich.
    ⇝ You could make soup using a small morsel of chicken bone or stock.


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