I love a good old Moroccan harira soup, especially in the wintertime when it is dark and cold and rainy outside. There is nothing better than to come home after a long day at work.. and enjoy a bowl of hot harira soup you made the day before!
Because that is the great thing about this Moroccan harira soup.
It is a delicious soup that you can easily make from scratch and serve it right away for lunch of dinner.
However in my honest opinion I think that this chunky wholesome Moroccan harira soup tastes even better a day or two later!
Perfect Make Ahead Soup
That also goes for other tomato type of stews.
Yep, there are also a lot of ingredients going into this chunky harira soup.
But don’t you let that scare you off though. Every pinch of the listed spices that you need for this soup are well worth getting if you don’t have them in your spice rack already.
In the end all of then add just that little extra touch to the soup…
Those lovely spices together are such a flavor bomb.
Harira Soup (Traditional Ramadan Soup)
Have you actually heard of this soup before?
It is very possible.
Harira soup is a traditional ramadan soup. And there is not really something like a perfect soup.
If you have been to Morocco, then you will see that there are many versions of this soup. It really depends on the chef and what he or she likes in this soup.
I decided to keep my harira soup right here vegetarian: lentils and chickpeas.
But often harira soups will also contain meat such as lamb or chicken.
Another ingredient that is added is pasta, vermicelli and rice, another great addition to this already filling meal soup!
Lentils & Chickpeas
For this recipe I used dry lentils and chickpeas.
The lentils don’t have to soak necessarily, however the dry chickpeas really need it so make sure to do that the day before you plan to make this soup.
Can you also make this soup with canned lentils and chickpeas?
Your soup will just need way less time to cook, make sure that your pulses are not cooked into a mushy mess though.
Yes, I do like harira soup with lamb meat as well.
And this is also the version that I have tasted the most while visiting Marrakech.
A nice chunk on fall off the bone lamb – or mutton.
Do you love cooking Moroccan recipes?
Then you should also check out another treat I first tasted in Morocco: my very easy to make and crunchy chicken pastillas!
My Vegetarian Harira Soup Recipe
Yep, there are a lot of ingredients going into this traditional Moroccan harira soup. Don't let that scare you off though, it's worth adding them!
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves chopped
- 2 medium fresh carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks fresh celery chopped
- 1 lb canned chopped tomatoes (450 g)
- 7 oz dry chickpeas (200 g), soaked overnight
- 7 oz dry lentils (200 g), soaked for 30 minutes
- 2 cups vegetable stock (480 ml)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and chopped
- a handful fresh cilantro chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
1. Pour the olive oil in large non-stick pan and add the chopped onion and garlic. Place the pan over medium heat and gently fry the onion and garlic for 3 minutes.
2. Add the chopped celery, carrots and ginger. Also add the bay leaves and cloves. Stir and fry the vegetables for 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Then add the rest of the ingredients, except for the fresh cilantro. Season with pepper, salt and nutmeg.
4. Stir the soup well and bring it to a good boil. Then turn the heat lower to a gentle simmer and let the soup cook until the chickpeas and lentils are tender. This will take about 60 to 75 minutes.
5. Stir from time to time. Add extra vegetable stock or water if necessary.
6. In the end check the seasoning. Add extra salt or pepper to taste. Scoop the harira into bowls and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve hot.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm).
During this month, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset in order to focus on spiritual reflection and devotion to Allah.
Ramadan is considered the holiest month of the year and is a time for prayer, charity, and community.
When does ramadan start in 2023?
The Islamic calendar follows a lunar cycle, so the start date of Ramadan varies from year to year.
In 2023, Ramadan is expected to begin on Monday, May 2nd and end on Tuesday, May 31st.
What is iftar?
Iftar is the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset to break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
Typical iftar dishes include dates, soups, salads, main dishes, and fruit.
Iftar is also a time for family and friends to gather together to break the fast and to enjoy special dishes.
What meals are typically served for iftar?
Iftar meals typically include dates, soups, salads, samosas, pakoras, kebabs, curries, biryanis, fruit chaats, and other savory snacks.
Sweets such as jalebi, halwa, and kheer are also often served.
What is a classic iftar soup?
A classic iftar soup is a lentil or split pea soup.
These soups are usually flavored with herbs, spices, and garlic, and can be served with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. To make a classic iftar soup, combine cooked lentils or split peas with diced onions, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Finish the soup with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
Is harira soup popular during Ramadan?
Yes, harira soup is a popular dish during Ramadan.
It is a thick and hearty soup that is often served to break the fast. It is traditionally made with chickpeas, lentils, tomatoes, and a mix of spices, and is usually garnished with lemon juice and cilantro.
Can harira soup also contain meat?
Yes, harira soup can contain meat such as beef, lamb or chicken.
Some recipes also call for adding sausage or other types of meat.
Where was harira soup invented?
Harira soup is believed to have originated in Morocco, and is a popular soup throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
There is no definitive answer to who first came up with harira soup. The dish has likely been around for centuries, and the exact origins are unknown.
Is harira soup served as a full meal?
No, harira soup is usually served as a starter or side dish.
It can be part of a full meal, but it is not a full meal on its own.
Is harira soup wholesome?
Yes, it is usually made with lentils, vegetables, and a variety of spices.
Harira soup is a high–protein, low–fat dish that is also rich in fiber and is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritious and healthy meal.