Week 42. Morocco. Deep lentil soup w/ Merguez

I have tried to work out how many Merguez sausages I have eaten in my life. We have always eaten them in the South of France and I think I have been there 15 times. On average we have spent two weeks a visit and if you total the number of days it is 210. We ate Merguez every single night on the BBQ and as they are thin sausages I would estimate I ate 5 a night. I’m up to 1050. In addition I have probably bought Merguez in the UK 20 times and eaten 5 on each occasion – so I believe I have eaten 1150. If each sausage was 20 cm long that means if all the merguez I have ever eaten were laid out in a line we would be reaching 210 metres. Put that into context. If laid on a running track it would go half the way round and Usain Bolt would take 20 seconds to run the length of my sausage line! No wonder my stomach is a washboard covered in a layer of sausage fat!

I’ve eaten so many of the  beef (sometimes lamb) sausages as they are wonderfully spiced. I love how they drip with chilli oil as you cut into them and whoever makes them rarely holds back on the spice. Bloody brilliant they are.

I wasn’t aware until recently that Merguez weren’t actually French (I just assumed) and were actually North African, so when I drew Morocco this week I had to get them into the dish somehow.

The national dish of Morocco is Tagine in a dish like this:

I don’t have a Tagine though, and time-frames meant I wouldn’t be able to get one, so I looked past the obviously traditional and found that they are used less often than you would think and instead good wholesome soups are popular. I would usually make a wholesome soup in Winter in the UK and Morocco doesn’t have a winter as we would know it (their winter is about the same temperature of our summer) but it didn’t seem too strange eating it in the warm. The addition of the Merguez on the top was all mine, but it worked and turned it into more of a stew. It’s a great dish.

I need to say Happy Birthday this week to my wee man. Henry Jones was 2 yesterday and we took him to Hardrock to give him a Guitar overload which worked a treat (despite the aggressive Norwegian Bar “Lady”). It might be a glorified fast-food joint, but there is no denying it is a lot of fun and Henry loved it – especially as he was up until 11pm.

Before the recipe, I have done the draw for the next country and I will be cooking……Tanzania.

Recipe:

  • 2 Chopped Onions
  • 2 Cups Red Lentils
  • 3 Sticks Celery
  • 2 Cups Lentils
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Chillies (I got hot ones)
  • TBSP Paprika
  • TBSP Tumeric
  • TSP Cinnamon
  • TBSP Salt
  • TBSP Cumin
  • 6 Tomatoes
  • Large bunch fresh Coriander

Sweat the onions for 10 minutes and then add the cored and diced tomatoes, chopped chillies and garlic. Cook for a few minutes and then add the spices for 3 minutes. Add the lentils until you are stilling what seems to a glutinous blob. Add 4 cups of water and the coriander. Set it on a low heat and keep adding water if it needs it. The lentils will be ready in about 20 minutes. I added 4 cooked and chopped Merguez sausages on top.

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