Harira is a dish loved all over the Middle East and commonly eaten to break the Ramadan fast. It sometimes is cooked with meat but this is a lighter vegetarian version.
Leftover soup can be kept in the fridge for a few days, in fact it will become even more flavourful, and it also freezes very well.
Make sure you soak the dried chickpeas overnight, or use a 400g tin (drained and well rinsed) and reduce the cooking time by 20 minutes.
Harira - a Moroccan Spiced Chickpea, Lentil and Vegetable Soup
- 1 Cup Dried Chickpeas
- 2 Tbsp Ghee
- 1 Large Onion Chopped
- 2 Stalks Celery Diced
- 3 Medium Carrots Diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic Finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp Ras el Hanout * Or 3 tsp cumin, 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp coriander, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp turmeric and 1 pinch saffron
- 1/2 Tsp Chili Flakes Optional
- 8 Tomatoes Very ripe, chopped or 2 400g tins diced tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2 Tsp Maple Syrup Or rice syrup
- 1 Cup Red Lentils Or brown lentils, well washed
- 500 ML Vegetable Stock Or water
- 100 G Baby Spinach Leaves
- 2 Lemons 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges
- Sea Salt Unrefined
- Black Pepper Freshly ground
- 1/2 Cup Coriander Leaves Finely Chopped
- 1/2 Cup Parsley Flat leaf, finely chopped
- Olive Oil To serve
- Soak washed chickpeas overnight in a bowl of cold water, drain and rinse very well.
- Cook the onion in ghee and a pinch of salt until soft in a large pan.
- Stir in celery, carrots and garlic, and cook for a few minutes.
- Add spices, tomatoes, tomato paste, maple syrup, chickpeas, lentils and stock, bring to a simmer, partially cover the pot and cook gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add more water or stock if needed.
- Check that the chickpeas are tender, if not simmer the soup until they are soft.
- Add the spinach and lemon juice, and cook just for another 3 minutes.
- Season well with salt and pepper, mix through the herbs, and serve each bowl drizzled with a little olive oil and accompanied by a wedge of lemon.
- Serve with warmed pita breads or slices of toasted sprouted bread.
- In Morocco this soup is traditionally accompanied by fresh soft dates. The combination is so delicious!
- Try this soup with 500g diced lamb, chicken thighs or beef, added when cooking the onion.