Saturday, March 09, 2013

Busy Week Here at Leyden Glen Farm

Busy Saturday at the Amherst Farmers Market - customers are thinking about lamb for Easter and Passover. I've got the legs and the recipes for them! 

Busy week here too. One photo shoot starring our Farmhouse on Monday and then another photo shoot on Friday - all about yarn and knitting. We hosted seven people from Classic Elite Yarns and shot the new designs for Color By Kristin. There was a snowstorm and although it wasn't bad here (5 inches) - my colleagues were driving from eastern Massachusetts where it was storming heavily. I have been knitting like crazy every evening trying to get a bunch of things made for the photos. I finished what I planned and I hope you all will like them when they come out next Fall and Winter. 

For lunch, I served up this lovely new North African soup recipe called Harira. It was a hit. Of course, there is lamb in it because this is a sheep farm. It really is a delicious soup and I will probably eat it all week for lunch. That is if The Farmer doesn't finish it on me.

Here's the recipe:

Harira - A North African Traditional Soup

Harira is a traditional soup of northwest Africa called the Magherb. My recipe includes tiny meatballs made of a spicy lamb mixture called merguez. If you are short on time, skip the meatball step, brown the ground lamb and then carry on with the Harira recipe. As with all soups, they are always better the second day so the spices blend and mellow. 

Merguez Meatballs

1 tsp. fennel seeds         
1 pound ground lamb
3 garlic cloves            
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander        
1 tsp. salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons hot sauce (or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne - more if you like it spicy)

Place fennel seeds in a pan and toast lightly on the stove. Watch them closely so they don’t burn. Place toasted fennel in a small food processor with garlic and process until chopped. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  If you have time, let the meat mixture set in the fridge overnight. This makes it easier to form into meatballs and lets the flavors develop.

Pinch off a small amount and roll into 1/2 to 3/4” meatballs. This sounds very small but the small size fits into a spoon and is perfect for this soup. Follow the recipe below for the soup.

Harira Soup

1 pound lamb merguez meatballs (see above)    
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion             
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery            
8 cloves garlic - finely chopped
1 small can tomatoes (14.5 oz)            
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cinnamon                
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. paprika (hot if you prefer)            
1 tsp. coriander
1 packet saffron (.13 grams)            
1 tsp. salt
2 quarts chicken, lamb or vegetable stock    
3/4 cup French green lentils
2 cans chickpeas                
1/2 cup Israeli couscous (or other very small pasta or rice)
fresh parsley and cilantro to garnish        
one lemon - sliced

In a large soup pot, brown the meatballs in the olive oil. Set the cooked meatballs aside. Cook the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic until onions are transparent in the remaining oil and lamb fat. Add the tomatoes, spices, stock and lentils. Cook until the lentils are cooked through - about 30 minutes.  Add the chickpeas, couscous (or pasta or rice) and reserved meatballs. Cook until the pasta is done.  Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.

If you have time, let the Harira sit for a day refrigerated. Serve with fresh parsley, cilantro and a squirt of lemon. 

If you want to print the recipe - go here

Hope you all are having a nice weekend.


Cathy said...

I'm looking forward to the new patterns! My guess is your bright yarn made it really seem like spring, even with the snow.

Stephanie W. said...

I made that soup two weeks ago. Oh my goodness, it was tasty. I took some of the Leyden Glen stew meat and ground it in the food processor to use in the meatballs.


Adaliza said...

That's a great recipe and looks delicious. I made soup today, too. In times of snow, worry or rest there's nothing like a bowl of soup. Hope we don't get too much snow.

Kathy said...

Sounds very hearty and delicious. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

Savannagal said...

Your soup looks and sounds absolutely scrumptious. I wish I had a local farm where I could buy lamb and goat. I guess I'm just too close to the big city.

Kristin Nicholas said...

Hi! Yes I did drain the chickpeas.

Thanks for reminding me to add a step.


Susan Lea said...

We got some lamb from a local farmer--and two sheep to raise grass-fed--so I need to try this out. We lived in France for 11 years, and Maghreb cuisine is quite popular there. I've got veggies for couscous to make with some lamb, too. Yum!