The Moroccan Harira is one of the most popular soups in the whole of the Middle East. Although it is typically served to break the fast during Ramadan, it is served throughout the rest of the year. It is surprisingly light and fresh tasting, yet filling and very nutritious. Harira contains a combination of chickpeas, lentils, lamb or beef, and vegetables which makes it a completely rounded meal. It’s spiced with cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and harissa to give it its classic warm and comforting flavor.
Harira Soup RecipeCourse: Soups and StewsCuisine: MoroccanDifficulty: Simple
How to make Moroccan Harira – a warmly spiced and filling chickpea and lentil soup with meat.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb beef or lamb, cut into cubes
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons harissa seasoning
8 cups beef or lamb broth
1 can chickpeas, drained, or 3/4 cup of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight then drained and rinsed.
3/4 cup of dried Le Puy green lentils (also known as French green lentils or Puy lentils)
1/4 cup long-grain rice or angel hair pasta or vermicelli, broken into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup green olives, drained and sliced
1/3 cup of black olives, drained and sliced
1/3 cup of chopped, fresh cilantro
1/3 cup of chopped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges for serving
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add meat and cook, turning the pieces until browned on all sides. Transfer the meat to a plate or bowl and set aside.
- Add onions to the pot and cook stirring until softened and lightly colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in celery and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes more. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and spices, and bring to a brisk simmer.
- Return meat to the pot, and add chickpeas and lentils. Pour in broth, bring to a boil then reduce the heat. Let the soup gently simmer for 1 hour, covered with the lid ajar.
- Add rice, cover with a lid and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes.
- Stir in the olives, cilantro and parsley and let simmer for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve sprinkled with fresh cilantro and lemon wedges for squeezing over.
- Since legumes and rice absorb a lot of liquid, it may happen that the soup thickens when refrigerated. In that case, thin it with water or broth and adjust the seasoning.