SN gave me matfoul, butter beans, tomatoes and olives. To be honest I had to look up the matfoul but found that it’s just like the giant couscous or mugrabeh, much loved by Ottolenghi. You’ll probably find it in his recipe books. This is my take on a matfoul and butter bean soup – although you could also have it as a tagine I guess and serve with flatbread. Either way it’s easy.
Put 75g of the matfoul in a saucepan with some water and boil vigorously for about 10 minutes or until it is just soft, drain it and roll in a little olive oil.
Sweat chopped onion and celery in a pan with some good olive oil, then add chilli flakes to taste (preferably Aleppo which are sweeter), a teaspoon of cumin seed and half a teaspoon of tumeric and half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. continue to fry gently remembering that the ground spices will start to thicken, so don’t let it catch on the bottom of the pan. Add a little more oil if necessary. Now add the drained tinned tomatoes and squish them up a bit, mixing with the onion and spices. Add the tin of butter beans and its liquid, plus some more vegetable stock. Add seasoning at this point. Bring to just under simmering point then add the cooked matfoul. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Cook for another 10 minutes or so then add a big handful of chopped flat parsley and fresh coriander and some chopped green olives.
If you want to pimp it up you can add some cooked chicken or roast red peppers.