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Melokhia (Egyptian Herb Soup)

6 Servings
125 g melokhia leaves -=or=-,Dried
1 Kg fresh melokhia leaves*
1 1/2 l strong stock
1 salt
1 black pepper
25 g olive oil
3 garlic cloves,crushed
1 T coriander,Ground
1/2 t cayenne pepper

Crush the dried Melokhia leaves. Put them in a bowl and moisten with a little hot water. Set aside until they swell and double in bulk. If the leaves are not brittle enough to crumble, dry them out in a warm oven for a few minutes. If fresh leaves are being used, wash them thoroughly and cut off the stalks. Spread the leaves out on a clean cloth to dry. Chop them finely.
Put the stock in a large saucepan (you can use any stock, except pork). Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Add the chopped or crumbled leaves and simmer for 10 minutes if the leaves are fresh and for 30 minutes if dry.
Meanwhile, prepare the "Taklia" or garlic sauce. Melt the butter in a small frying-pan. Add the garlic and fry, stirring, until it is golden brown. Add the coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic mixture to the soup, cover the pan, and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

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