Harira – or should I say, “Hari-rah“? When I need something light and comforting to eat, this is my default. But when I want something special all the time, I can’t keep ordering it – I have to learn how to make it! So, after much study and testing, I came up with a version of my own. If you’re looking for a small and soothing meal, try this recipe out. You’ll find that harira is a Moroccan soup that rocks!
What is Harira?
Harira is a hearty soup from Morocco that is eaten during Ramadan to break the fast. It is packed full of tomato, legumes, herbs, and spices and thickened with a flour and water slurry to give it a silky-smooth texture.
What is Needed to Make Harira?
Many recipes for harira have canned and fresh tomatoes, onion, celery, chickpeas, lentils, cilantro, parsley, ginger, turmeric, and pasta or rice in them. I like to use chili powder and fresh ginger to give it an extra kick, a blender to help break the herbs and vegetables down, and a whisk to stir everything together. Separating the herb leaves from their stems can be tedious, and once you start cooking, you have to keep your eye on the soup. An apron is necessary if you don’t want tomato or turmeric stains on your clothes. I use the list below to make 12 cups in 2 hours.
- Time: 1 hour to prepare, 1 hour to cook
- 1/2 cup of green lentils
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 8 Campari tomatoes
- 1 large yellow onion and 1 large celery stick
- 1 small bunch of cilantro and 1 small bunch of parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 six-ounce can of tomato paste
- 2 cans of broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
- 28 strands of spaghetti, broken into one-inch pieces
- Slurry: 4 teaspoons of flour and 4 teaspoons of water
How to Make Harira
I make harira, using the steps below:
- Measure out the lentils and transfer them to a medium-sized bowl. Pick through, rinse, and drain them. In a colander, drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the bowl.
- In the same colander, wash the tomatoes, onion, celery, cilantro, and parsley.
- While the vegetables and herbs are draining, measure out and combine the chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper, and turmeric. Set aside. Peel, grate, and measure out the ginger, and set aside.
- Separate the cilantro and parsley leaves from their stems. Measure out 2 cups each and transfer to a blender.
- Cut the tomatoes, onion, and celery into quarters. Transfer to the blender and blend with the cilantro and parsley.
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and cook but don’t burn it.
- After a few minutes, pour the contents of the blender into the pot and stir with a whisk. Add 2 cups of water to the blender, blend, pour into the pot, and stir. Bring to a low boil.
- Stir in the spices and bring to a low boil. Then, stir in the lentils, chickpeas, and tomato paste and bring to a low boil. Stir in the broth.
- While the soup comes to a low boil, break the spaghetti strands into halves, then quarters, and then eighths. Stir the 1-inch pieces in and cook until tender but firm (chewy).
- In a small bowl, measure out the flour and water and create a slurry. Stir the mixture in and cook without forming clumps or lumps. Turn off the heat.
- Portion 1 cup of soup into a bowl, garnish with chopped or whole cilantro or parsley leaves, and serve with a lemon wedge.
Harira is a Moroccan soup that will rock your world! Not only is it filling, but the exotic spices take your mind on a tasty trip. It may take a few hours to make, but it’s worth it! Leftovers last 3 to 4 days in a refrigerator at 40°F or 2 to 3 months in a freezer at 0°F.1 If you’re looking to moderate your carb intake, you can skip the spaghetti and flour and water slurry.
Did you try this recipe out? What did you think? Did you find any more shortcuts? Please share by commenting below.
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- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Keep Food Safe! Food Safety Basics. Keep Food Safe! Food Safety Basics | Food Safety and Inspection Service (usda.gov).