Harira is a type of thick lentil and chickpeas soup with meat.
It is a classic comfort food hail from Morocco.
A version of Harira is also used by many Indians during confinement as it has many nutritional benefits.
If you are interested in the Indian version, let us know in the comments, and we’ll share it here with you!
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 pound lamb (or beef or chicken, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces)
- 6 large tomatoes (peeled, seeded and pureed)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (or 1/4 teaspoon yellow food coloring)
- 1 bunch parsley (no stems, finely chopped to yield about 1/4 cup)
- 1 bunch cilantro (no stems, finely chopped to yield about 1/4 cup)
- 1 stalk celery (with leaves, finely chopped)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 large onion (grated)
- 1 handful dried chickpeas (soaked overnight and peeled)
- Optional: 1 tablespoon smen
- 11 cups water (divided)
- 3 tablespoons dried lentils (soaked overnight)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste (mixed into 1 cup water)
- Optional: 2 tablespoons rice
- 2 tablespoons vermicelli
For Thickening the Soup:
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cups water
- Garnish: 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Heat up the cooking oil in a 6-quart or larger pressure cooker. Add the meat.
- Cook for a few minutes, stirring to brown all sides.
- Add the pureed tomatoes, kosher salt, turmeric, parsley, cilantro, celery, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, onion, chickpeas, and smen (if using). Stir and add 3 cups of the water.
- Cover tightly and heat over high heat until pressure is achieved. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and release the pressure.
- Add the lentils, tomato paste mixture, and the remaining 8 cups (2 quarts) of water. If at any point there’s an oily surface forming on top of the soup, simply skim it off and discard. This can happen because of the meat’s fat, if left on.
- Have the rice or vermicelli at hand, if using, but don’t add yet.
- Cover the pot and heat the soup over high heat until pressure is achieved. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking.
- While the soup is cooking, make a soup thickener by mixing together the flour and water.
- Mix well, but if the mixture is not smooth, pass it through a sieve to remove lumps.
- Bring the soup to a full simmer. Slowly, and in a thin stream, pour in 1/4 of the flour mixture. Stir constantly and keep the soup simmering so the flour doesn’t stick to the bottom or cooks up in lumps.
- Add another 1/4 of the flour thickener. You will notice the soup beginning to thicken when you’ve used approximately half the flour mixture. The thickness of harira is up to you.
- Simmer the thickened soup, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes to cook off the taste of the flour. Remove the soup from the heat, serve, and garnish with some chopped parsley.