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    This hearty Moroccan soup is traditionally served with dates to break the fast during Ramadan. Serves six.

    • Total time: 2hrs


    • 2 tbsp ghee, clarified butter or 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp vegetable oil
      2 large onions, peeled and chopped (about 350g)
      1 large handful (about 20g) roughly chopped parsley
      1 stick celery, finely diced
      1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
      1 tsp turmeric
      ½ tsp cinnamon
      ½ tsp ground ginger
      8 threads toasted, crushed saffron
      400g lamb or mutton shoulder, cut into 2.5cm chunks
      500g chicken, cut into 2.5cm chunks
      2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
      100g dried red lentils
      500ml bottle passata
      1 litre chicken stock
      1 bay leaf
      50g vermicelli, orzo or other small pasta
      3 tbsp flour
      2 tbsp coriander leaves, to garnish
      Dates, to serve


    1. Warm the ghee in a large casserole over a medium heat, and sauté the onions, parsley, celery, pepper and turmeric for four minutes, stirring constantly. Add the cinnamon, ­ginger, saffron, lamb and chicken, and cook slowly until the meat is golden but not browned – about 15 minutes. Add the chopped coriander, lentils and passata to the pot and cook for 15 minutes over a low heat. Add the chicken stock and a bay leaf, simmer gently, covered, for about 30 ­minutes, then add the pasta and ­simmer until the pasta is cooked.
    2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with enough water to create a liquid the consistency of single cream, and tip into the casserole. Stir constantly for five minutes, until thickened. Sprinkle coriander leaves on top and serve at once with dates on the side.

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