Gourmet Traveller is one of my favourite food magazines. Each month when my magazine subscription arrives in the mail I can’t wait to flip through to see what wonderful recipes are included. This month included a preview of the new cookbook Whispers from a Lebanese Kitchen which will be launched in April.
When I saw the recipe for Kibbet il roheb I couldn’t wait to try it. According to the author, Nouha Taouk, “This soup is consumed after mid-morning mass on Good Friday. When we were children it was supposed to be our consolation prize for fasting until midday and lasting through an overcrowded and longer than usual church service.”
While it’s not Good Friday yet, I love soups and in the last year I’ve come to love cooking Lebanese food at home, so I couldn’t wait to try my hand at making the soup. I’ll admit I did take a few shortcuts, mainly because I was impatient to try the soup and decided to make it only a couple of hours before dinner. Instead of soaking the chickpeas and borlotti beans overnight I used canned chickpeas, and cannellini beans, as I didn’t have borlotti beans to hand. Despite that shortcut, I don’t think it effected the end result of the soup, which was delicious.
A funny thing happened when my boyfriend and I tried the soup for the first time, it both reminded us of our Grandmother’s soups. Despite the fact my Grandmother is Scottish and my boyfriends is Serbian, and therefore had never made this soup, it was reminiscent of soups they made.
Do you ever taste something and feel transported back to another time? What is it?
Kibbet il roheb (Good Friday Soup)
Recipe adapted from March 2011 Gourmet Traveller.
- 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 litres vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 onions, peeled and coarsley chopped
- 1 bunch silverbeet, coarsley chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- wedge of lemon, to serve
- Place a large stock pot over a low heat and add the oil, onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent.
- Add the chickpea and beans along add the vegetable stock and cover and keep over a low heat while the burghul balls are made.
- Once the burghul balls are made, bring the soup mixture to the boil and then add the burghul balls, one at a time and stir to ensure the balls don’t stick together.
- Add the silverbeet and stir and cook for 10 minutes or until the silverbeet is wilted.
- Serve with a wedge of lemon.
- 265 grams burghul
- 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
- Pinch chilli powder
- 110g plain flour
- Soak the burghul in 500ml of warm water for 30 minutes and drain well to remove excess moisture.
- Place the butternut pumpkin in a microwave container and cover with water and cook until soft. Drain well and return to the container and mash.
- Combine the burghul and mashed pumpkin in a bowl with the onion, cumun, pepper, mint, chilli powder and flour, and mix well to combine.
- Take spoonfuls of the mixture and roll into balls and set aside on a plate ready to add to the soup. If the mixture is too loose add a little more flour.