I love a good old Moroccan harira soup, especially in the wintertime when it is dark and cold and rainy outside. There’s 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 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 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.