• Harira Soup

    6 votes
    Harira Soup
    Prep: 15 min Cook: 120 min Servings: 10
    by John Spottiswood
    300 recipes
    This is the traditional soup served at sunset to break the daily fast observed during the 30 days of Ramadan. Recipes vary from family to family throughout Morocco and the rest of North Africa. I'm particularly fond of this version. If you have not had this before, you MUST try it. It is truly delicious!


    • 2 14.5 oz cans of chick peas (garbanzo beans) drained - or 1.5 cups dried chick peas soaked over night
    • 1/2 pound lamb or beef stew meat, chopped in 1/2 cubes (optional)
    • 2 chicken thighs, skin removed and chopped in 1/2 inch pieces (optional)
    • 2 large onions peeled and chopped
    • 3/4 cup dry brown lentils
    • 1 tsp turmeric
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 3/4 tsp paprika
    • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp chicken, beef or vegetable stock concentrate (dry or from jar)
    • 12 cups water
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (quite a bit of salt is required)
    • 1/2 cup rice, dry (optional)
    • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
    • 1 Tbsp celery, finely chopped (optional)
    • 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes (or 1 pound peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes plus 2 tsp tomato paste)
    • 1 heaping Tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 2 lemons


    1. In a large pot, combine the drained chick peas, lamb, chicken, onions, lentils, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, concentrated stock, and 12 cups of water. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for about 1.5 hours.
    2. Remove lid and add the rice, cilantro, parsley, celery, tomatoes and cook for another 20 minutes.
    3. Mix the tablespoon of flour with a half cup of water until smooth. (I usually put both in a jar with a lid and shake.) Then add this to the soup, stirring gently. Let cook for an additional five minute.
    4. Serve in bowls with the lemon cut in wedges and served on the side.

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    • John Spottiswood
      John Spottiswood
      I've made this recipe with and without meat, and it is delicious both ways. The meat adds a nice extra dimension, but if you are vegetarian you should definitely try it using vegetable stock and without the meat.
      • Nancy Miyasaki
        Nancy Miyasaki
        I really like the way this soup thickens with the lentils and the added flour at the end. It's like a thick split pea soup, with a wonderful flavor explosion from the added spices!
        • Jayne Braby
          Jayne Braby
          This recipe sounds delicious. I can't wait to prepare it. I've become a 'savcry' @ breakfast kind of person?! Oatmeal has lost its' appeal since I'm SO lactose intolerant & don't care for soy milks...I just need some lentils & I'll cook it & report back...:-)
          • myra byanka
            myra byanka
            Loved this recipe. Will make again.
            • John Spottiswood
              John Spottiswood
              Glad you enjoyed it Myra! Thanks for reviewing.


            • Eva Thorne
              Eva Thorne
              I absolutely love harira. And there are so many versions of it. This is the recipe that I made recently: I used beef the last time I made it. Amazing with either lamb or beef!
              • Tracy Rosenberg-Roso
                Tracy Rosenberg-Roso
                I just love soups and this looks great. Can't wait to give it a try:)

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