Hi friends, I hope you’re all doing well. It is freeeezing here in Montreal and whenever the weather gets this cold and mean I make soup. Lots of heart warming, soul hugging, uplifting soup.
Since this is the place where I share my most beloved Moroccan recipes, I just had to make Harira and share it with you, my peeps.
What is Harira?
Harira is Moroccan soup, that is super popular during the month of Ramadan. It’s a soup that is tomato based, with a healthy dose of legumes and usually some kind of starch (think pasta or rice).
Here are some more interesting facts about Harira :
- It’s usually served with dates or chebakia.
- It’s served as starter.
- It’s served almost everyday during the month of Ramadan to break the fast.
- It’s usually served with a squeeze of lemon to enhance its flavour.
- It can be made with meat or without.
Fact: Harira is the most consumed recipe during that month. You can literally walk the residential streets in any given city in Morocco and smell it, or better yet hear the whistling of pressure cookers. Y’all know what I mean.
Here is what you need to make Harira :
- Tomato Paste
- Preserved Lemons
- Dried Chickpeas (Soaked overnight)
- Dried green lentils
- Fresh Coriander
- Some spaghetti (broken into little pieces) or some of your favorite very short pasta.
- Corn Starch to thicken the soup
- Olive oil, of course.
You will also need a blend of spices. The recipe card below details everything you need.
As it is the case for most recipes, there are several ways to make Harira. This is the one I grew up with, the one I love the most. You can of course tweak it anyway you wish.
My advice to you is, before you start free-styling Harira, make it as is on your first try.
How to make Harira
Making Harira is not difficult at all. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of ingredients down below. It’s super easy to get it right and once you do, you got it for life.
To make a good harira, follow these simple guidelines:
- Soak your chickpeas in water overnight (or for at least 5 hours)
- Start by cooking your onions until they get translucent.
- Add your water, tomato paste, chickpeas and lentils. Close your pressure cooker and let everything cook.
- Carefully let the steam out and open your pressure cooker. Add your salt, spices, corn starch and stir again until everything is dissolved.
For detailed instructions on how to make Harira, refer to the recipe card.
Can I freeze Harira ? Yes. You can put it in zip lock bags and use it whenever needed.
Do I have to soak my lentils too? No, lentils cook very quickly in the pressure cooker.
I don’t have a pressure cooker, can I make it in a regular pot? Yes you can, but you’re going to have to adjust your cooking time. The cooking process will take a lot longer but it will be just as good.
Can I skip the corn starch? Yes you can. It’s just a thickener, if you like your soup to be a little more on the light side, they you should probably skip it.
Moroccan Harira Recipe
Harira is a citrusy and savoury soup that is served traditionally as a starter or as a meal.
- 1 large onion
- 1/2 preserved lemon
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp salt
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup dried chickpeas soaked in water overnight
- 1/4 dry lentils
- 1/2 cup coriander
- 1/2 cup spaghetti broken to small pieces
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Lemon wedge
- Some fresh coriander
Start by finely chopping your onion and coriander. Using a knife, carefully remove the skin off your preserved lemon. Cut the skin into strips, remove the seeds off the pulp and finely chop the pulp. Warm up your pressure cooker to medium-high heat. Add onions, coriander and lemon. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until onions become translucent.
Drain your chickpeas and add to the pot. Add your lentils, tomato paste and your 8 cups of water. Add salt, stir and seal your pressure cooker. Cook for 45 minutes. Let all the steam out and carefully open your pressure according to manufacturer's instructions.
Dissolve your cornstarch in 1/4 cup of warm water.Add your spices along with the dissolved corn starch and stir until completely dissolved. Taste to make sure that it's salty enough.