There are many Algerians who insist on having Algerian Shorba Frik to break the fast every evening during the month of Ramadan. (I posted the recipe for Shorba Frik recently and it can be found here) Fortunately my Algerian husband is not one of them! He likes to eat a variety of soups throughout the month. Soups are gentle on the digestive system and are a good dish to prepare for the breaking of the fast and I enjoy making a range soups from simple cream of vegetable (leek and potato, celery, tomato, mushroom etc) to more substantial soups such as Saudi shorba with oats.
Saudi Shorba really has to be the simplest and easiest soup in the world to make! It uses minimal ingredients and no blending is required. The secret is in cooking the soup long enough for the meat to become very tender and the oats to disintegrate somewhat and become very soft so they melt in your mouth.
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
2 or 3 pieces of lamb on the bone
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground cummin
salt and pepper
1 dried black lemon
1/2 cup fast cooking oats OR barley (remember that barley will take longer to cook)
Gently saute the onions and garlic in a pressure cooker, when softened add the meat and fry until sealed. Add all the other ingredients and 3/4 litre water. Stir well and bring to the boil and then cover the pan and reduce heat to a simmer. Keep checking the water level and stir regularly to stop the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add more water if you want the soup thinner.
Soup is ready when the meat is tender and oats are mushy. Remove the black lemon before serving.