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North African Harira

Harira is a hearty soup from the Maghreb region of North Africa that is especially popular as a meal to break the daily fast during Ramadan. There are many variations of this hearty, healthy soup, but most recipes have chunks of lamb slow simmered with tomatoes, chickpeas, spices and herbs. The mixture of exotic spices gives this soup are splendid aroma that will fill your house with warmth and comfort. Give it a try! It is fantastic!

Posted on March 25, 2011

IngredientsNorth African Harira

2 tbsp olive oil

½ lb boneless lean lamb, cut into cubes

1 yellow onion, chopped

½ cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water to cover, and drained

7 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock or just water

½ cup red or yellow lentils

2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra to garnish

1 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley

Scant 1/3 cup long grain rice

Salt and black pepper


1.  Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the lamb and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned all over. Reduce the heat; add the onion, and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, until softened.

2. Increase the heat to medium, add the chickpeas, pour in the stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours.

3. Stir in the lentils, tomatoes, bell pepper, tomato paste, sugar, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cilantro, and parsley and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add the rice and simmer for additional 15 minutes, until the rice is cooked and the lentils are tender.

4. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and remove the pan from the heat. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with little chopped cilantro and serve immediately.



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