This Moroccan soup is most popular during Ramadan. However, it is a very hearty and tasty soup that makes a nice winter soup as well. Depending on taste, some people like it served with a chopped boiled egg and a few squeezes of fresh lemon.
Beef is optional in this recipe as it is chock full of protein. It can be omitted, or chicken is sometimes used instead.
Canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas) can also be substituted and it will save a lot of time, but the dried beans do taste better! (Removing the husks from the beans can take me 30 - 45 minutes, thus the long prep. time.)