the traditional tomato soup of Morocco that is full of garbanzo beans and
lentils. It is simply the best soup that I have ever eaten, although I had to
acquire the taste of cilantro! Moroccans make it all year long, but especially
during Ramadan to break the fast. Each family makes their own version tailored
to what they like, so this is my healthy soup recipe, with lots of cilantro and celery.
There are many variations, so you can choose and use the ingredients that you
love. I always loved visiting friend’s homes and enjoying the differing
versions of this spicy soup! Serves 8
Soak 1/3 cup
flour in 1 cup of water (this provides a slightly sour flavor and thickening.)
*If you forget to do this step the night before, you can add ½ t. yeast to the
mixture to give it the sour taste or add a little more lemon to the soup.
Ingredients in Harira
- 1/2 lb. lean
chopped beef or chicken or lamb or vegan substitute
- 2 T. oil
- 2 large
onions finely chopped
- ½ t.
turmeric (for color) (Moroccans use saffron but pricey here)
- 1 T. ginger
- 2 T. paprika
- 1 ½ t.
- 1 T salt or
- 1/2 cup dry
- 6 cups water
- 2 (16) oz
cans of crushed tomatoes or (2 pounds of fresh tomatoes seeded and pureed)
- 1 huge bunch
finely chopped cilantro
- 1 bunch finely
- 1 entire
head of celery finely chopped
- 1 can
garbanzo beans or (½ cup soaked overnight and remove peels)
- 2 to 3 T
tomato paste (optional to thicken up the soup)
- 3 cups water
- ½ cup
vermicelli or rice
Directions for Harira
- Brown meat,
chopped onions, and turmeric, ginger and paprika in a small amount of olive oil
- Add 6 cups of
water, salt, pepper, and lentils and bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. (If
you are using fresh garbanzo beans add them now too).
- Chop the
celery, cilantro, and parsley and then blend them together in blender with the
tomatoes until they are pureed together. Add to the soup. Cook for about an
hour until the flavors are blended, and the meat and lentils are cooked. Stir often to
stop the lentils from sticking.
- Add the canned
garbanzo beans (if using), extra 3 cups water mixed with the tomato paste, rice
or vermicelli, and cook until the rice or vermicelli is done. Stir to avoid
- Add the
flour and water mixture that you made the night before, and the juice of one
lemon and heat through until soup thickens.
- The soup
should be velvety, so add more water or flour to make it so.
- If you love
cilantro, you can add more chopped fresh cilantro and add it to the soup right
- Serve this
soup with extra chopped lemons to squeeze into the soup. Salt and pepper to
- If you
do not like celery, you can leave it out.
- If you dislike cilantro, leave it out and add more parsley.
- Add a beaten egg or two at the
end of the cooking and let it cook in the broth.
- Substitute dried fava beans
to the soup, rather than the lentils or garbanzo beans.
- Use fresh tomatoes, rather than canned if you have
them, or canned pureed tomatoes. Any type of tomatoes work!
is a treat to serve with crusty French baguettes! Serve it with fresh dates and
a chopped cucumber, roasted pepper, and tomato salad drizzled with balsamic
vinaigrette. Top it off with a cup of sweet mint tea! This is a popular meal
choice with our family because we lived in Morocco for eight years and it’s our
very favorite type of food! Healthy recipes centered on vegetables with just a
little meat for flavoring don’t need to be boring, but should be a treat.
See my 7 Quick & Easy Soup Tips
that will help you to prepare healthy soup recipes quickly! From the
broth to vegetables, beans, whole grains, and meats. Find shortcuts to