Last year for Christmas, my parents gave me Casa Moro, the second cookbook from Moro Restaurant in London, UK. I was flipping through meat recipes, trying to get inspired (I had a package of ground lamb that was begging to be cooked). I came upon a dish of lamb seasoned with (what we Americans typically consider to be) sweet spices. This is what I love most about Middle Eastern and North African dishes -- the combination of the sweet and the savory.
My interest in this type of cuisine was sparked by this post on Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks. The combination of savory flavors with the fresh sweetness (and pucker) of pomegranate was just sooo intriguing! I can't describe to you how much I love cold salads, especially ones that are laced with so many different textures.
Anyway -- back to my lamb! I started by sautéing onions and garlic in a little olive oil, then adding vegetable stock and bringing the whole pot to a boil. I mixed some milk-soaked bread, diced garlic, chopped parsley and spices (including smoked paprika, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and allspice) into the lamb and then made bite-sized meatballs. Once the broth came to a boil, I tossed in my mini meatballs and some chopped kale. As the pot bubbled away, the spicy flavors from the meatballs infused into the stock, creating a delicate broth.
This soup is light, but packed with flavor!