Harira Soup

Country of origin: Morocco

Harira is a Moroccan soup, popularly used at a starter during Ramadan but is also eaten as a light snack, on its own.


  • 250 g meat (lamb, beef or chicken), chopped into cubes
  • 3 tbs cooking oil
  • 1 bunch cilantro, ¼ cup when finely chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, ¼ cup when finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, minced or grated
  • 1 handful dry chic peas, soaked overnight and peeled
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbs salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 6 large tomatoes (pureed)
  • 2 tbs dry lentils (washed)
  • 3 tbs tomato paste mixed with 1 cup of water
  • 100g uncooked vermicelli
  • 1 cup flour


  • Pour the oil in a large pressure cooker and add meat.
  • Cook the meat at medium heat while stirring until all the sides are brown.
  • Add the cilantro, parsley, celery, onion, chick peas, tomatoes, and spices. Stir in 3 cups of water.
  • Tightly cover and turn up the heat until the correct pressure is achieved.
  • Reduce the heat to medium after about 10 minutes and continue cooking for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat completely and relieve pressure.
  • Remove the lid and add lentils, tomato paste mixture and 2 litres of water.
  • Cover and turn up the heat until the correct pressure is achieved. Reduce heat to medium after a 10 minutes and continue cooking for 45 minutes.
  • Relieve pressure and add the vermicelli. Simmer while uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • While the soup is cooking, make a thickener by mixing together the 1 cup of flour with 2 cups of water. Set the mixture aside, and stir or whisk it occasionally. The flour will eventually blend with the water.

If the mixture is not smooth when you’re ready to use it, pass it through a sieve to remove the balls. Bring the soup to a full simmer.

  • Slowly (and in a thin stream) pour in the flour mixture.
  • Stir constantly and keep the soup simmering so the flour doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  • Serve as is or topped with a few croutons and enjoy.

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