- Total:2 hrs 25 mins
- Prep:40 mins
- Cook:105 mins
- Yield:6 to 8 servings
Harira is an authentic Moroccan soup made of tomato, lentils, and chickpeas, but also includes meat, making it a filling and satisfying dish. There are many variations, and recipes are often passed down from generation to generation. Some versions, such as this one, feature broken pieces of vermicelli and smen—a preserved butter with a Parmesan-like taste.
Harira recipes yield a delicious, hearty soup which can be served as a filling lunch or light supper. Although served year-round, it is particularly popular during Ramadan, when it is served to break the fast.
The recipe follows the pressure cooker method which speeds up the cooking. To adapt cooking times for traditionally simmering in a stockpot, follow the directions for the traditional stockpot method.
Before proceeding with the recipe, read the steps in advance for a simpler cooking process.
- 1/2 pound meat (lamb, beef or chicken; uncooked, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 cups water
- 2 to 3 tablespoons dried lentils (picked over and washed)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste (mixed evenly into 1 or 2 cups of water)
- Optional: several soup bones
- For the Stock
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (or 1/4 teaspoon yellow colorant)
- 1 bunch cilantro ( finely chopped to yield about 1/4 cup)
- 1 bunch fresh parsley (finely chopped to yield about 1/4 cup)
- 1 or 2 stalk celery (with leaves; finely chopped)
- 1 large onion (grated)
- 1 handful of dried chickpeas (soaked and then peeled)
- 6 large tomatoes (about 2 pounds; peeled, seeded and pureed)
- Optional: smen
- Optional: 2 to 3 tablespoons rice (uncooked; or uncooked broken vermicelli).
Steps to Make It
Ahead of Time
Before you begin cooking the soup :
- Gather The Ingredients.
2. Wash the herbs and drain well.
3. Pick the parsley and cilantro leaves from their stems. Small pieces of stem are all right, but discard long, thick pieces with no leaves.
4. Finely chop them by hand or with a food processor.
5. Soak and skin the chickpeas. (You might want to soak them the night before you cook.)
6. Peel, seed and puree the tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Or, stew the tomatoes and pass them through a food mill to remove the seeds and skin.
7. Pick through the lentils and wash them.
8. Next, brown the meat.