Meat Joint Soup


        2 1/2 cups soup meat, cubed
        4 cup rice or fine noodles
        1 cinnamon stick
        1 cup parsley, chopped fine
        1 1/2 tsp. salt
        1/4 tsp. pepper
        Several meat bones

The Lebanese housewife used to spend most of the day tending the soup kettle to make this nourishing soup for her family. Today the same soup can be cooked in an hour in the pressure cooker. Its distinctive flavor comes from the cinnamon stick added to the broth. With toasted Arab bread this makes a hearty meal.

Place meat and bones in pressure cooker with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and skim. Pour off all but 2 1/2 cups of the broth and set aside. Add cinnamon stick to broth and bones in the pressure cooker and cook under pressure for 30 minutes. Reduce pressure. Remove meat and bones. Add rice or noodles and the reserved broth to the pot and cook under pressure eight minutes. Open cooker. Season to taste. Return meat to soup and heat to boiling. Serve in soup bowls garnished with chopped parsley. For variety, add several small whole carrots, a tomato cut in half, several small summer squash and a chopped stick of celery to the broth before adding the rice or noodles.

To prepare this soup in an open kettle, bring meat and bones to boil and skim. Add salt and cinnamon stick. Boil until meat is tender and remove bones. Add rice or noodles and cook until tender. Sprinkle with parsley. Add vegetables as above if desired.

(From Food from the Arab World Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge, Khayat's, Beirut 1959)