Eid al Adha is right around the corner (Sunday) and is perhaps most well known as the “sheep holiday”. Muslim families purchase a live ram and on the morning of Eid sacrifice the animal. This is done as a remembrance of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son on God’s command. At the last minute God replaced Ismail with a ram. After the sacrifice families separate the ram into three parts; one for themselves, one to share with friends or family and one to donate to the poor.
Many women pride themselves on creating a wonderful meal on Eid, making many dishes that only make an appearance for this holiday. One obvious staple is plenty of sheep. This year we’re not making our own sacrificing but allowing a relative in Morocco to do the sacrifice for us. We’ve consciously cut out a lot of red meat from out diet and neither MarocBaba or I would eat enough of the meat over the year to warrant buying one. Frankly, I’m still pretty full of meat from our trip last month. This got me thinking about others who are either vegetarian or just don’t like mutton. There generally aren’t a lot of options for them on the Eid table.
I created this very healthy and filling soup to fill the void. I used Saffron Road broth to speed up the cooking time and add a really great flavor. I love Saffron Road because all of their products are halal and completely natural, but also many of them are gluten free. I stopped using canned or boxed broths awhile ago because of the high sodium levels and blah taste but Saffron Road broths are really different – so much flavor.
There is a little bit of prep work to make this recipe but it’s well worth it.
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 cup brown lentils
- 4 carrots chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 zucchini chopped
- 1-2 small to medium potatoes
- 1/2 cup green peas
- 1 1/2 cartons Saffron Road Vegetable Broth (if not wholly Vegetarian the Chicken Broth is great too)
- salt, pepper, cumin for seasoning at the end
- 3 cups of AP unbleached flour + more for dusting
- 32 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c parmesan cheese
- To make the gnocchi start by placing the ricotta in a strainer or on top of cheesecloth suspended over a bowl. This is to drain any excess water out of the cheese - leave for 30-60 minutes.
- In a stand mixer add 2 cups of flour and the parmesan cheese. Mix using the flat beater. Once the ricotta is strained add this to the flour along with the eggs. Mix on a low speed to combine everything, adding the final cup of flour as the mixture combines.
- The gnocchi will be ready when it has a thick and slightly sticky consistency. Chill for 20 minutes before rolling.
- Remove from refrigerator and pull off a ball of dough. Dust a flat, clean work surface with flour and roll the dough into the shape of a snake. You can make it as fat or thin as you'd like. I make mine about the size of a dime. Cut off pieces of the dough about every 1/2 inch. Use a fork to make a depression on the tops of each one.
- Set aside in a single layer. If you don't plan to use all of them they can be put on a cookie sheet and flash frozen for 30 minutes, removed and stored in a freezer - safe ziploc bag.
- (I like to do all of the prep work first and then add ingredients as needed)
- Prepare the lentils by soaking in warm water for 30 - 60 minutes before cooking. The longer you leave them to soak the faster they will cook. Peel the carrots, potatoes and zucchini and cut into small cubes - keep them separate from each other because they will be added to the pot at different times.
- In a heavy bottom pan or dutch oven add the olive oil and garlic and turn on medium/high heat. When it starts to sizzle pour some of the Saffron Road broth into the pot.
- Stir in the tomato paste and add the rest of the carton of broth. Drain the lentils and add them, as well as the potatoes and carrots.
- Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Allow to cook 45 minutes and check the tenderness of the lentils and vegetables. If tender, add the 1/2 carton of broth and the zucchini and peas.
- Place another pot of water to boil (for the gnocchi) at this point. Once it boils add the gnocchi. It will only take a few minutes to cook and you will be able to tell it's done when they float.
- Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, add a small amount of the cooking water to keep them from clumping.
- Serve the soup and gnocchi in separate bowls, encouraging guests to take the amount they would like of each. This will help with any leftovers there might be as the gnocchi tend to break down if left in liquid. Top each bowl with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Here are some of the other great things Saffron Road has going on around the web this Eid;
Great deals on their products at Whole Foods and Kroger nationwide!
A giveaway for a copy of Clean Your Kitchen Green from Yvonne of My Halal Kitchen and free product coupons on their Facebook page.
Speaking of My Halal Kitchen – make sure you check out these two posts to get ready for Eid too!
- Quick and Easy Eid Appetizers (and really these chicken bites are aaahmazing)
- Hajj Season and Preparing for Eid ul Adha Celebration (with a printable shopping list)
What’s on your menu for Eid? Do you have other meat-free ideas to share with other readers?
This recipe has been linked to FaveDiets November Blog Hop.
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