| Prep Time: 15 mins
| Cook Time: 45 mins
| Total Time: 1 hour
You may need: Dried Garlic Powder
Fragrant, zesty, and hearty, Harira is a traditional Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea soup served with or without meat. Harira is a popular dish in Moroccan homes and restaurants, and is often served to break a fast during holidays. The name harira, derived from the Arabic word for silk, refers to the texture of the traditional soup after it’s been thickened with either eggs or flour and water.
We developed our recipe to use lamb, a popular meat in North Africa, whose flavor blends seamlessly with these spices and aromatics. But the recipe is easily be made vegan with 2 changes. We spice this soup using our Ras el Hanout spice blend. 'Ras el Hanout' is an Arabic phrase that means “Top Shelf”. Quite simply, it’s a spice blend that traditionally featured a spice shop’s best and most exotic mix of spices, enhanced by alluring floral notes. Many authentic Ras el Hanout blends have 20 or more ingredients, and some over 100! Spice merchants and Moroccan grandmothers alike keep their recipes and ingredients a guarded secret. This blend is pure luxury and is sure to please any refined palate. Use Ras el Hanout with fish, meats, tagines (stews), or roasted root veggies.
1.5 lb. Lamb (or beef), cut into 2" cubes (optional)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
Salt & pepper to taste (optional)
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (~1 inch piece)
1 tbsp Piquant Post Ras el Hanout spice blend
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped and divided into 1/4 cups
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped and divided into 1/4 cups
4 cups beef (or bone, chicken or vegetable) broth
4 cups water
1 (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup brown or green lentils
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 lemon, juiced (1-2 tbsp)
Make this Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea soup in a large pot: dutch oven or a soup pot work best, but a wide, heavy bottom pan also works as long as it's volume is large enough to hold all the liquid.
You can also use a slow cooker to make this recipe. For the best flavor, briefly (2-3 mins per side) brown the meat before adding to the cooker. But you can just add everything to the slow cooker and heat on Low for 8-10 hours, Med for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-6 hours.
Use canned crushed tomatoes unless you make this recipe at the height of the summer tomato harvest. Canned tomatoes are packed hours after being picked in summer for the best flavor.
Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don't sweat it if you don't have them.
In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat 1 tbsp oil on Med-High heat. When shimmering, add lamb, season with salt & pepper to taste, and cook for 2 mins per side, until browned (8 mins). Remove lamb to a plate.
In the same pot, add 1 tbsp oil, onion, and celery, stirring occasionally until they start to brown (~8 mins). Reduce heat to Med. Stir in minced garlic and ginger and cook for 1 min. Stir in Ras el Hanout spice, cilantro, and parsley and cook for 1 more min. Add broth, water, chickpeas, and lentils then stir to mix, turning heat to High to bring to a simmer. Then, reduce heat to Med-Low, add back lamb and partially cover. Gently simmer for 20 mins
Add can of crushed tomatoes and stir to mix. Simmer for 5 mins. Next, add in lemon juice and stir.
Stir in remaining cilantro and parsley leaves. Serve in bowls with extra lemon wedges for garnish.
Note: this dish is easily made vegetarian by omitting meat, using vegetable broth, and starting with step 2.
Piquant Post Ras El Hanout spice blend can also be used directly as a rub for meats like chicken, lamb or beef. You can cook your meat as you like after using the rub.
Or, try our very authentic spiced Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Apricots recipe.
Traditional Moroccan food includes lots of vegetarian options. You can substitute many roasted root vegetables such as butternut squash or mushroom for lamb in this recipe dish. Or make roasted cauliflower with our Ras El Hanout. Another vegetarian option is this sweet potato chickpea tagine. You can skip the rosewater because our Ras El Hanout already has floral notes including culinary grade rose petals and lavender.
Here's a link to 5 more ways to use Ras el Hanout.
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