Friday, January 14, 2011
Day 96! Libya - Shorbat bil Hoot (Fish Soup) with Kammon Hoot (Spice Paste) - Up Next, Liechtenstein
Friday.....Yay! Tonight's Libyan meal was easy to prepare, healthy and smelled as good as it looked. The use of chili peppers and kammon hoot (spice paste - recipe below), make this a uniquely spicy and exotic tasting soup. I loved the addition of orzo to the soup, and the homemade fish stock really kicked up the flavor factor which my family enthusiastically endorsed. Okay - my younger boy did cook up 3 Boars Head hot dogs 20 minutes later, but the rest of us were perfectly happy with big steaming bowls of soup and crusty bread.
Cuisine in Libya is heavily influenced by Mediterranean and North African traditions as well as Italian cooking, as it was once an Italian colony. Onions, tomatoes, lamb, chicken, fish, chilies, cayenne peppers, saffron, chick peas, cilantro and parsley are all used in Libyan cooking.
Fish Soup (Shorbat bil Hoot) - (Adapted from Celnet)
2 pieces of firm sea fish (I used Haddock because it was on sale)
1 onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. tomato puree
1 tsp kammon hoot (recipe below)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red chili, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground tumeric
2 Tbsp. orzo pasta
2 Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
Olive oil to fry
Bring 6 cups of lightly-salted water to a boil, add the fish then cover, take off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the onions until soft and translucent (about 8 minutes), then stir-in the garlic, tomato sauce, tomato puree, chillies, turmeric and kammon hoot. Fry for 2 minutes then add the fish stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 8 minutes.
With a slotted spoon remove the fish from the poaching water. Strip the fish meat from its bones then flake the flesh and add to the tomato-based sauce. Now add the remainder of the fish poaching liquid to the pot and bring to a boil. Stir-in the pasta and stir to combine.
Add the parsley and coriander and stir to combine then take the pan off the heat, cover and set aside for about 6 minutes. Ladle into warmed soup bowls and serve immediately accompanied with bread.
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. mint
3 tsp. cumin seeds
5 garlic cloves
1 tsp. coriander seeds
15 dried hot red chillies
Cover chillies with hot water and let stand for 15 minutes until soft. Place chillies and remaining ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth using water that the chillies soaked in to thin it. The sauce should have the consistency of thick paste. If you place the paste in a jar and cover with a thin film of olive oil, it will keep a couple of months in the refrigerator.