Moroccan Vegetable Soup
2 lb lamb stew meat, cut into ½ inch dice or 3 x 1lb lamb shanks, trimmed of excess fat
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
FOR THE SOUP:
1 cup dried chick-peas, soaked in 3 cups water
2 medium onions, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
4 medium tomatoes (about 1½ lb) peeled, seeded, and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ -inch strips
2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
6 oz fresh mushrooms or 2 oz dried mushrooms, soaked and sliced
¼ teaspoon turmeric, ground
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped or ¼ teaspoon ginger, ground ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 small bunch of fresh cilantro stems removed
Salt and pepper
Lamb broth: In a 4-quart pot, brown the lamb and lamb bones (if any) in the olive oil over high heat. Remove the meat and bones with a slotted spoon and pour out the burned fat. Add the chopped vegetables to the pot and return the meat and bones. Add enough water to cover, about 1 quart.
Bring to a slow simmer and simmer the broth for about 3 hours, skimming off fat and scum as needed. If necessary, add water from time to time to make up for evaporation. Strain the broth and discard the bones and vegetables. If you're using lamb shanks, peel off the meat and discard the bones. Reserve the meat and broth.
Soup: Place the chick-peas and their soaking water in a 4-quart pot over medium heat until the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, lamb broth and reserved meat.
Simmer until the potatoes and carrots have softened, about 20 minutes. Add the chick-peas along with their cooking liquid. Stir in the spices and simmer the soup for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and simmer for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper.