A hearty Moroccan soup that is traditionally served during the month of ramadan to break the fast. This happens to be one of my favourite soups and I could eat it anytime, not to mention that it is very nourishing too.


Type of Dish Soup


  • 200 g (1/2 lb) beef topside or brisket (cut into small cubes)
  • 2.5 lt beef or chicken stock
  • 1 large onion (finely diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 6 medium tomato (liquified to a puree)
  • 1 medium carrot (diced)
  • 50 ml (3 Tbsp) olive oil
  • 150 g (1 cup) chickpeas
  • 50 g (2 oz) puy lentils
  • 40 g (3 Tbsp) rice or vermicelli
  • 1 bunch coriander (cilantro) (including the stems)
  • 1/2 bunch parsley (chopped)
  • a pinch saffron
  • 2 g (1 tsp) cinamon powder
  • 3 g (3/4 Tbsp) ginger powder
  • 1 g (1/2 tsp) turmeric
  • 80 g (1/2 cup) flour
  • to taste sea salt
  • to taste black pepper
  • 1 medium egg


  1. Soak chickpeas and split peas separately in cold water for one night. The next day, drain pulses and set aside.
  2. Soak saffron in 1 tablespoon hot water for 5 minutes.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables soften.
  4. Add beef, spices, coriander stems, saffron and its liquid. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato, diced carrot and stock. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook covered, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Uncover, add chickpeas and split peas, cook for 15 minutes, next add the lentils and rice or vermicelli cook for a further 25-30 minutes or until pulses are tender.
  6. Mix the flour with just enough cold water to form a thin paste. Add to soup and whisk well. Cook for 20 minutes stirring often to prevent from burning. (take care as the soup will start to thicken now)
  7. Break the egg into a cup, mix it well with a fork and stir it into the soup. Add lemon juice and half the chopped coriander leaves, reserving some to garnish. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Sprinkle with remaining coriander, serve hot with bread of your choice. Harira is often served along with boiled eggs seasoned with salt and cumin also dried fruit such as dates and figs. During Ramadan it is most often served along with chabekia pastries.
  9. In Morocco many people add a traditional ingredient called smen. This is a fermented salted butter and it gives the soup some additional depth and complexity. This soup can also be made with lamb or chicken in the place of beef.

Further Information

Yield 4 to 6

Preparation Time is approxmiately 45 minutes.

Cooking Time is approxmiately 3 hours and 45 minutes.

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