1 cup whole dried fava beans - (1/2 lb)
Water as needed
1 bay leaf (optional)
2 tbl olive oil
2 onions minced
2 lb lamb shoulder chops cut in 1" cubes
8 Spanish saffron threads crushed
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground ginger
10 tomatoes - (to 12, abt 3 lbs) peeled, seeded
30 parsley sprigs
15 cilantro sprigs
1 cup lentils
1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Salt to taste
1/2 cup crushed vermicelli see * Note
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Lemon wedges for serving
* Note: Substitute orzo or the tiny soup pasta called acini di pepe for the crushed vermicelli, if you prefer.
Rinse and pick over fava beans, then soak overnight in water to cover. To quick-soak: Place beans in large soup pot and add 10 cups hot water and 1 bay leaf.
Bring water to a rolling boil for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and soak beans for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The older the beans, the longer they will take to cook. Squeeze each fava bean between your thumb and forefinger to remove skin. Set beans aside.
Soak lentils for 1 hour in cold water and drain.
In large soup pot over medium-high heat, heat oil and fry onions and meat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add saffron, turmeric, ginger and 8 cups water. Cover and bring to rolling boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low, add fava beans and cook, covered, until beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on age of beans.
Coarsely chop together tomatoes, parsley and cilantro sprigs.
Add tomato mixture, lentils, pepper, cinnamon and salt to taste.
Cover and cook until lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil for pasta. Add pasta and cook until soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and stir into soup. Taste and add salt to taste and adjust pepper.
When soup is heated through, ladle harira into individual soup bowls. Top with chopped cilantro and serve immediately with lemon wedges.