Recipe of the day: Harira Soup

A taste of Morocco

By Choumicha Chafay

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Published: Thu 8 Dec 2022, 5:04 PM

Who said authentic Moroccan food can only be enjoyed at restaurants? Tantalise your taste buds with these traditional recipes and recreate the zesty flavours from the comfort of your home...

Harira soup

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 60 mins

Serves: 10 to 12 bowls


•400 ml water

•350 gms lamb legs, cubed

•350 gms white onions

•5 celery sticks, chopped (only the leaves are needed, not the stem)

•100 gms coriander leaves, chopped

•3500 gms tomato purée

•100 gms chickpeas, peeled

•300 gms beef stock

•100 gms green lentils

•100 gms vermicelli (the type used for soup)

•100 gms tomato gravy (a blend made with equal measurements of tomatoes, flour and water)

•100 gms tomato paste

•Salt to taste

•3 tbsp Moroccan ghee or smen (preserved butter)

•3 tbsp Harira spices (a blend made with equal measurements of ground turmeric, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper)


In a thick-bottomed pan, pour water and bring it to a rolling boil.

Once boiled, add peeled, deseeded, blanched, and puréed tomatoes.

Next, add chopped lamb cubes.

Stir the mix until the meat starts to change colour. Stir gently.

Add the Harira spices, salt to taste, followed by the peeled chickpeas and tomato sauce.

Once cooked for about 7 minutes, add the dry green lentils.

Pour the tomato gravy made using a mix of tomatoes, flour and water.

Add the vermicelli and stir well once again. Make sure you stir it gently because you do

not want the lentils to turn mushy.

Add freshly chopped coriander and celery leaves to the soup.

Next, add 3 tablespoons of smen, which is also known as preserved butter or Moroccan ghee.

Give the soup a gentle stir for the butter to melt, before transferring it to a serving bowl.

Serve and enjoy with Moroccan halwa chebakia or sesame cookies with honey. You can also drink the soup by pairing it with Moroccan white bread or khobz.

Choumicha Chafay is head chef and recipe curator, Bab Al Mansour

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