Harira is a delicious, chunky, tomato-based soup with chickpeas and vermicelli.
Rabat — Harira is the most popular soup in Moroccan cuisine and the most popular recipe with any Moroccan cook during the month of Ramadan.
In Moroccan homes and restaurants, you can find all sorts of soups, but harira stands out from the rest for being 100% Moroccan and very well-enjoyed throughout the entire country.
There are important reasons why Moroccans serve harira during Ramadan. It is like a melting pot of many different types of food. As a consequence, its legumes, vegetables, and grains solidly nourish the body. After a long day of fasting, it is a good way to increase blood sugar and provide some protein.
But harira is not just for Ramadan. Most Moroccans find harira so absolutely delicious that they love making it outside the holy month.
Harira is also a great vegetarian Moroccan soup recipe, given that you can make a tasty version of it even without meat. Also, most of the foods in it are healthy vegetables. Additionally, it is simple to make a healthy, gluten-free version.
At the table, whether during Ramadan or not, harira pairs well with other elements of Moroccan cuisine. Moroccans serve harira with various other types of food particular to the Moroccan culture. The most common is chebakia, a Moroccan cookie made of strips of dough with a flower shape. It is fried and covered with honey and rose water syrup and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
The second dish that harira takes as a companion on the dinner table is sellou, a confection of ground fried almonds, nuts, ground toasted sesame seeds, and browned flour.
Dates are the third and possibly most important dish to accompany harira, in not only Moroccan culture but also in neighboring countries. However, different people from different regions in Morocco furnish their table with different food.
Harira soup’s preparation and recipe details can vary from one family to another, as is also the case with most other dishes of the Moroccan cuisine.
It is possible to produce a vegetarian soup base, without using meat in the broth; but it is a good choice to incorporate meat to offer the soup additional flavor.
Cooks often add lentils and rice as well, but it depends on a person’s taste.
Some like harira with little seasoning, whereas others prefer a broth that is thicker and richer.
This Moroccan harira soup recipe may not fall into the fast and simple category. However, the effort you put into preparing this dish will be worth it.
3 tablespoons olive oil
250 grams beef or lamb
2 cups chickpeas (soaked overnight)
1 large onion
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon saffron
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup parsley
1 cup celery
2.5 liters water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
10 tablespoons flour
2 stock cubes
1 cup vermicelli
Start the recipe by warming the olive oil over medium heat and add the meat and onion after cutting them into slices. After that, add all the spices, unpeeled tomatoes, and peeled chickpeas that you soaked overnight.
Before adding parsley and celery, combine them in an electric mixer with 1 liter of water. Then put them in the pot with your meat and onion, stir everything very well, and leave it to cook for 30 minutes on low heat.
After 30 minutes have passed, take out the tomatoes from the pot and peel and squeeze them. Then, add your tomato paste to the pot along with another 1.5 liters of boiled water and your flour, stirring the mixture.
For the last step in the Moroccan harira soup recipe, add the stock cubes and vermicelli and let cook at the same temperature for one hour.
After one hour, remove your harira from heat and serve.