KOUSA MA7SHI IN TOMato soup
Tender-soft zucchini stuffed with a deliciously spiced rice and lamb filling! These stuffed zucchini are cooked in a warm pot of yummy tomato soup made with the perfect spices, butter, and fried garlic. One of our traditional and favorite meals! Here, you will find exact measurements for the perfect outcome!
PREP: 40 m • COOK: 1 h • YIELDS: 10-15 zucchini
FOR THE FILLING:
FOR THE TOMATO SOUP:
- 1 3/4 cups rice, dry & uncooked
- 1/5 lb ground coarse lamb, or ground beef
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp 7 spices
- 3/4 tsp all spice
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/3 8 oz can tomato sauce
FOR THE TOMATO SOUP:
- Water, to cover zucchini by 1 inch
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 6 oz cans tomato paste
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2.5 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2.5 tsp garlic powder
- 2.5 tsp 7 spice
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 5 garlic cloves, sliced
- First, soak your rice in warm water for a good half hour so it fluffs you a little bit. Make sure there is at least 2 inches of water above your rice. While it is soaking, begin to core your zucchini.
- Cut about an inch off the top of the zucchini and cut the tiny circular stem at the bottom. Save the tops aside — we’ll use them later. Then, using a thin and long core utensil, core out all the inside of the zucchini as thin as you can to the skin and to the bottom without breaking. I suggest starting with the core utensil in the middle and start slowly. Gradually go deeper and be careful of how deep you’re going so you don’t poke a hole through. Be patient with this step so you don’t break all your zucchini!
- Once all the zucchini has been cored, rinse them very well, inside and out with salt and water. Set them downward in a strainer to drain any excess water for at least 10 minutes, or while you season the rice mixture.
- Drain the water from your rice and season it with the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, 7 spices, all spice, turmeric, and crushed red pepper. Add in a couple tbsp olive oil and mix well. Taste the rice to adjust seasonings to your preference and spit it out. Then, add the meat on top and lightly season it with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, 7 spices, and all spice. Mix well.
- Add the tomato sauce to the rice mixture and a little more olive oil and mix in. Set aside and get read to stuff the zucchini.
- The key here is to not overstuff them and to not push down the rice to the point the rice is packed. You want a little room for the rice to boil and remember it’s going to get bigger in size! You don’t want it to break or the rice to be hard. I like to tap the zucchini down a few times on the counter while stuffing so the rice gets to the bottom and I can fill more - but I won’t push it down with my finger. So fill each zucchini with the mixture up until there’s an inch empty at the top.
- Once all the zucchini are filled, take the tops of the zucchini you set aside and cut them in half if they’re large. Put one in each of the zucchini so that way it prevents rice from falling out while boiling in the pot. A lot of people don’t do this, but I like to because it helps ensure everything will stay put together.
- Place all the zucchini in a large pot and fill with warm water about an inch over them. Put the heat on high and bring to a boil. Fat will start to rise to the surface — when this happens, remove all the fat with a slotted spoon until the water is clear.
- In a small bowl, mix together the chicken broth, tomato paste, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, 7 spices, and crushed red pepper (use the measurements under the soup ingredients). Melt the butter and add it into this tomato mixture.
- Before adding the tomato mixture to the pot, remove some water from the pot. Depending on how much soup you want, that’s how much water you should have in the pot. Then, mix in the tomato soup carefully with a slotted spoon without breaking any zucchini.
- Let it cook for about 15 minutes, then give the soup a taste. Adjust any seasonings to your preference. Let it cook for another 30 minutes on medium-high heat.
- In a separate pan, fry the sliced garlic cloves with some olive oil until fragrant and translucent. Add it all to the pot and let it cook for another 15 minutes.