From our Kuzina to yours – Harira

It’s been warmer here since March started, but the past few days we’ve seen rain and a (hopefully) quick cold spell… which means I’ve been in the mood for some delicious, warm soup! I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for awhile, but since harira is so easy to buy here I rarely make it and didn’t get the chance to finish testing it until now. Harira is definitely my favorite Moroccan food so I’m glad to finally get to share it. It’s like tomato soup, but extra delicious thanks to the additions of lentils and chickpeas – yum! Hope you enjoy 🙂

Harira (click here to download recipe w/o pictures)

Serves 2-4


  • t each of finely diced fresh parsley and cilantro
  • T of finely diced celery
  • Half an onion, diced (about ½ c)
  • A couple soup bones with a little bit of meat on them (Moroccans generally use mutton, but I think anything would be good. I used chicken here)
  • ½ c soaked dried chickpeas (maybe equivalent to ¼ c dried)*
  • ½ c dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 ½ t ground ginger
  • 1 ½ t cumin
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 t salt
  • Puree of 4 tomatoes (approx. 2 c)**
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 bouillon cube (any flavor is fine)
  • T flour
  • Some spaghetti noodles (optional)

*I only have access to dried chickpeas here – if you use dried it’s really helpful to soak them beforehand or cook them a bit on their own first to speed things up. If you have canned chickpeas that should be fine, you just might want to cut the salt a bit.

**I also only have access to fresh tomatoes, so my tomato puree is just 4 tomatoes peeled and quickly blended (or sometimes I take a page out of the Moroccan book and use a shredder). I’m sure you could use some kind of canned tomatoes but since I can’t test it for you I’m not sure how it would work or how much to use. Again, if you use something canned you might want to cut the salt.

Shredding tomatoes, Moroccan-style.

Shredding tomatoes, Moroccan-style. It’s like peeling and chopping all in one!

To cook:

  • Heat oil in your soup pot. When hot, add parsley, cilantro, and celery, then the onion. Cook 30 seconds or so, then add soup bones, chickpeas, lentils, spices, and tomato puree.
Everything minus the puree

Everything minus the puree

  • Stir and add about 4 c of water, bring to a boil and then simmer (covered) until the lentils and chickpeas are cooked (about 1 hour or a little more). Check every so often and add water as needed.
This was not enough water. You'll see why later.

I added about 2 c water, which was definitely not enough – so I recommend more like 4 c, and maybe more as it cooks according to your preference.

  • Mix the flour, crushed bouillon cube, and tomato paste with a bit of water to form a thick liquid (I like to use a little jar so I can shake it all up) and add it to the soup. If you want to add noodles, do that now. Cook for an additional 15 minutes or until soup has thickened a bit and noodles are cooked.

  • Remove the bones and enjoy!
Harira! Mine looks a little dark because I burned it (oops). Don't worry, I upped the water when I wrote down the recipe, but still - it's a good idea to check your soup every so often :)

Mine looks a little dark because I burned it due to lack of water and lack of paying attention (oops). Yours should look lighter.

– Cori

3 thoughts on “From our Kuzina to yours – Harira

  1. Thank you for the interesting Moroccan recipe. I had most of the ingredients on hand so I did a modified rendition using pork stew chunks as my meat. It was good but I will try it again sometime with all the ingredients called for. I think it will be even better. Fun to try a different ethnic food. Gma

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