Three nights a week Superman and I participate in the one of the most popular online Massively Multiplayer Online games (they say that they are the most popular but are outstripped on current subscriptions by almost 10million subs by LineageII – but the vast majority of those subscriptions are from asia and non-English speaking countries so I guess they get away with it lol.) We are part of a semi-hardcore raiding guild which requires that we are online ready to go by 7:30 on raid nights to raid until 11:30 whatismore, one of those evenings we have Japanese from 5:30 right up to 7:30 so dinner on those nights can be a pain to organise (mostly because of the lack of time to clean up afterwards frankly and, anyway, who wants to eat so early??) We quickly established one bowl meals which could be eaten at the computer between Bosses (or wipes on bad days) but stir fries and such were too much of a mess to have sitting there till after raid when we’re too tired to do anything about it. Enter the soup solution!
I have always been a soup maker but mostly light soups for when we are ill or feeling the need to get some concentrated vegies into us but I thought I’d turn my hand to a slightly heartier, more filling soup which could last us through the week for raid nights. I threw the following together last week and it filled the apartment with such wonderful scents and was soo delicious that I wrote down the recipe for a fellow raiding wife and I thought I’d share it here, too.
DANI’S SPICY MOROCCAN LAMB SOUP
(makes 10 servings so 5 meals for 2 and could be more if you like your soup more watery – you can adjust it from a stew-like consistency to a more watery soup as preferred)
2 lamb shanks
2 Red/Spanish Onions finely diced
3 cups green beans (chopped as small or roughly as you like)
3 cups carrots (chopped the same)
3 cups good quality fresh or dried Borlotti beans – soaked, boiled and ready to go (or tinned if you like too).
3 tbs of honey
2 tbs macadamia oil (a light tasting olive or rice bran will do)
75g butter (unsalted is best)
3 cups of vegetable or chicken stock (which ever you like best)
Fill your kettle and boil it
Herbs (start with the following amounts but feel free to play with more or less of one or another to your own taste – I make it up each time lol and to add more later in the recipe but pre cooking them at first is important)
1 tbs cumin
2 tbs dried ground coriander (not fresh)
1tbs ground cinnamon
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika (more if you like heat)
1 chilli of your favourite heat seeded (unless you’re a masochist) and chopped
2 whole cloves
In a large soup pan (as heavy bottomed as you have) melt butter with the oil on a medium heat then add diced onions.
When onions are nearly translucent add allt the herbs inc the chilli till the flavours are bursting and feel free to add any more of anything that smells particularly good
Put the two lamb shanks in whole let them seal on one side then turn them over and let the other seal (the sides won’t be sealed but that’s cool)
Add the chicken or vegetable stock – give it a stir to make sure the herbs and onions aren’t sticking – then add boiling water until the lamb shanks are covered.
Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and let it simmer until the lamb is falling off the bone – this will take at least an hour and a half – you will prob need to add more boiling water occasionally and stir to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Remove the lamb shank bones and skin from the soup – this should be able to be done by just pulling gently with some tongs, if not then it is not yet ready.
Once the bones and skin are removed add the diced vegetables and beans (feel free to add whichever vegies you like) and then enough boiling water to cover the vegetables by over an inch. Simmer till the vegies are cooked and the soup has reduced to the consistency you prefer – it can be a watery, minestrone type soup or you can let it thicken to a stew. At this point add more herbs to taste and the 3 tbs of honey – it’s not much but it pulls all the moroccan spices together.