Enjoy the delightful tastes of Moroccan cuisine with one of the most treasured offerings of all, harira. If you’ve never had it before, it’s a lovely Moroccan soup that is typically served during Ramadan. Harira soup can take on many forms, and is both filling and nutritious. Harira soup generally has around 250 calories per serving, making it a healthy choice for anyone.
Whether you are getting ready for the upcoming month of Ramadan or you simply want a taste of this Moroccan classic to add some color to your cooking palate, you should plan on making it.
Here’s how to prepare harira:
1 finely chopped onion
4.5 oz (125 grams) beef, cut into small cubes (alternatively, you can use chicken or lamb)
1-1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of saffron
1/2 teaspoon of ghee butter (optional)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 large tomatoes, blend until smooth
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 small bunch of cilantro, very finely chopped
1 small bunch of parsley, very finely chopped
1 celery stick, very finely chopped
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup of dry chickpeas that have been soaked in water over night or a can of chickpeas
1/2 cup of lentils
8 cups of water
1 large egg (optional)
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Dates, for serving
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat and spices (including the cinnamon stick and butter ghee).
2. Brown the meat for approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add the onion, lentils, tomatoes, celery and chickpeas along with 8 cups of water, cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes.
4. Halfway through the cooking, add the fresh herbs to the soup .
5. Take a small amount of the soup and mix it in a bowl with the tomato paste and flour to dilute it to prevent clumps flour from lingering in your soup.
6. Add the mixture gradually to the soup and stir constantly until the soup thickens to your desired consistency, which may result in not using all of the flour and water mixture. Cook for ten more minutes.
If desired, serve dates on the side. In traditional Moroccan culture, the ultimate way to enjoy harira is to take a bite of the soup and then a bite of dates, alternating in this way until your bowl is empty and your belly is full.