• Harira: A Delicately-Spiced Moroccan Soup

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    Harira: A Delicately-Spiced Moroccan Soup
    Prep: 10 min Cook: 45 min Servings: 8
    by Vicki S Challancin
    9 recipes
    My Flavors of the Sun is both a cooking school (in Mexico!) and a tour service. I learned to make this delightful vegetarian version of the classic Moroccan soup, Harira, on one of my many trips/tours to Morocco. More recipes can be found on my blog: Thanks--I love your site!


    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
    • 1/4 cup packed cilantro, leaves and tender stems only
    • 2 sprigs mint
    • 2 sprigs parsley
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 2 14 1/2-oz cans diced tomatoes with juice
    • 8 cups water
    • 1 cup lentils, picked over and washed
    • 2 ribs celery, sliced
    • 1 cup baby carrots, sliced in half lengthwise, if desired
    • 1 small red bell pepper, diced (I forgot that I had wanted to add this, but it would be nice in this soup)
    • 2 cups cooked garbanzos, (I used freshly cooked dried beans, but canned are fine if rinsed before adding to soup)
    • 1/2 cup broken vermicelli pasta
    • To serve: Lemon wedges, chopped cilantro (and/or parsley and mint), and dates (1 per serving)


    1. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook for 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until soft, approximately 4 minutes. Add the ginger and cook for an additional minute, stirring. Sprinkle the mixture with the dried spices; continue cooking for 1 minute. Allow to cool slightly before puréeing in a food processor or blender (Note: You can make this smooth or leave it a bit chunky, as I have). Empty contents of the processor into the soup pot. Add the water, stir, and allow to simmer over low heat for 15 minutes to blend flavors.
    2. Add the lentils, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and garbanzos. Cook, partially covered, for 35 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Add the vermicelli and cook for a additional 5 minutes or until pasta is cooked through. Check and adjust salt and pepper.
    3. Serve with lemon wedges, chopped cilantro, and a date on each serving plate.
    4. Note: Sometimes this dish is served with a boiled egg sprinkled with salt, pepper, and ground cumin.

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