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Monday, July 21, 2014

Chicken Soup with Ras el Hanout

 I know it's the middle of July, but it's raining today and I've been feeling slightly under the weather.  There's nothing like a good chicken soup to knock you back into shape..
well, that and a bit of Motivation.
I was planning on making a minestrone type of soup, but something North African swept underneath my soul and the lovely smell of Ras el Hanout materialized in my brain and before I knew it, I was swept off my feet.  Eating this really gave me the peps I was lacking and I'm sure tomorrow I will be just as energized as I usually am.  It reminded me of couscous, but that must be the wonderful workings of the spices.
Serves 4
 2 chicken breasts
1 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp harissa
1 heaping Tbsp ras el hanout
1 cube lamb bouillon (or chicken or veg)
4 or more cups water
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 handful fresh spinach
few cracks fresh pepper
pinch of salt (if needed)
squeeze of lime
chopped scallions
chopped cilantro
1.  In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sweat the onions until translucent.  Add the carrots and stir about 1-2 minutes.
2.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, harissa, and ras el hanout.  Stir into a paste, then add the bouillon cube and the water.
3.  Bring to a boil, then add the whole chicken breasts.  Let boil for 5 minutes, then cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 10 minutes.
4.  Remove the chicken breasts and let cool before shredding with your fingers.  I really like this part.. it's like string cheese but with chicken!
5.  Place the soup back to a simmer and add the bell pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes.
6.  Throw in the spinach and let wilt.  Stir the shredded chicken back in and heat through.  Add a few cracks of fresh pepper.  Taste and adjust the seasoning and water level if needed.  I didn't need any salt.

Serve garnished with some lime juice, chopped cilantro, and chopped green onions.
This little creation works very well as a soup, but would be equally satisfying over some couscous or bulgur..
Oooh that gives me an idea for leftovers!
Needless to say, I feel much better..
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