Harira Moroccan Soup

Maroccan Harira Soup
A Traditional Moroccan Soup

Harira, a traditional Moroccan soup, is a flavourful and hearty dish that is popular across the country. This soup is known for its rich blend of spices and ingredients, making it a staple in Moroccan cuisine. With a base of tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and onions, Harira is a nutritious meal that is often enjoyed during Ramadan to break the fast.

Preparing the Harira Soup

To prepare Harira, start by sautéing onions, celery, and carrots in olive oil until they are soft. Then, add spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin to enhance the flavour profile of the soup. Next, pour in a mixture of tomatoes, lentils, and chickpeas, 

Traditional Moroccan Harira Soup

along with vegetable broth, and let the soup simmer until all the ingredients are cooked through.

Serving the Harira Soup

Before serving, garnish Harira with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavours. This soup can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a side of crusty bread for a complete meal. Whether you’re looking for a comforting dish on a cold day or a nutritious option for a wholesome meal, Harira is a versatile soup that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

How to Make the Harira Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish12 ounces boneless lamb                             shoulder, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces (Optional)                                                                                         1 large yellow onion, diced                                                                                                                             1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, or to taste                                                                                                 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika                                                                                                                   1 teaspoon ground coriander                                                                                                                         1 teaspoon ground cumin                                                                                                                               ½ teaspoon ground ginger                                                                                                                             ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper                                                                                                   ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon                                                                                                                        4 cloves garlic, minced                                                                                                                                    1 tablespoon tomato paste                                                                                                                            4 cups chicken broth                                                                                                                                        1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes                                                                                                              2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped                                                                                                                2 cups water, or to taste                                                                                                                                  1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained                                                                                                            ¾ cup green lentils, rinsed                                                                                                                               1 tablespoon all-purpose flour                                                                                                                       2 tablespoons cold water                                                                                                                               ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided                                                                                                            ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, divided                                                                                                            ½ cup vermicelli, broken into 1/2-inch pieces                                                                                              ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper                                                                                                                           1 lemon, juiced

  1. Gather all ingredients.
  2. Heat olive oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat and cook cubed lamb until nicely browned and some of the fat has rendered, about 5 minutes.
  3. Toss in diced onion and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, ground ginger, black pepper, and cinnamon. Add minced garlic and cook and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Add tomato paste and cook and stir for about 1 minute.
  5. Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, and celery; stir until well combined. Add water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  6. Once soup is boiling, add chickpeas and green lentils; season with salt to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Mix flour and 2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl and drizzle slurry into the soup to thicken.
  8. Bring back to a simmer and add 1/2 of the cilantro and 1/2 of the parsley; stir to combine.
  9. Simmer on medium-low heat until meat and lentils are perfectly tender and soup has thickened, about 20 more minutes.
  10. Stir in vermicelli and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with cayenne and salt. Add remaining chopped cilantro and parsley and finish by drizzling lemon juice to taste into the soup.
  11. Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil.

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