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Harira Soup Recipe
by John Spottiswood

Harira Soup

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!

Rating: 4.8/5
Avg. 4.8/5 6 votes
Prep time: Morocco Moroccan
Cook time: Servings: 10

Goes Well With: warm flat bread

Wine and Drink Pairings: Syrah


  • 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.