Makbouseh can be served hot or cold, with or withou pasta or Arabic rice.
Yield: 6 to 12 servings
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil on medium-low heat. Add the onion and saute, uncovered, until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned.
Add the eggplant, and cook for about 10 minutes, making sure that the pieces are coated in olive oil and well incorporated with the aromatics.
Add the kousa and cook for a couple of minutes then add the yellow squash, zucchini and season with 1 teaspoon of the salt, and saute together for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the squash pieces are softened and tender.
Slice each tomato in half horizontally, and squeeze the juice and seeds into the pot. Then, finely dice the juiced tomatoes and add these to the pot with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to distribute and simmer, uncovered, on low heat for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the shrimp, peppers, and allspice and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque in color and cooked through. Add the cherry tomatoes, and slowly simmer just until the tomato skin blisters slightly. The soup should be thick and juicy, and the squash, eggplant, and shrimp tender but not mushy. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Taboulie tip! Because of its smooth skin, small seeds, sweet taste, and tenderness, I think that this type of eggplant (Sicilian) makes all the difference in the taste and texture of my Makbouseh!
Variation: For a vegetarian version simply substitute the shrimp with chickpeas.
By Julie Ann Sageer (Julie Taboulie). Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved.
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