Quick Harira Recipe (Vegetarian Chickpea Soup)

hariraHarira is a traditional Moroccan soup made from tomatoes, chickpeas and lentils.

This recipe is a quick way to make this delicious and hearty soup- it uses canned chickpeas, but you can also used dried soaked chickpeas; just increase the cooking time by 1 hour to allow the chickpeas to soften. I adapted it from a traditional recipe when I was in a hurry the other day, and it was just as delicious as leaving the soup to stew for 1+ hour.

It is a welcoming dish to make when you want something substantial and bursting with nutritious ingredients. Full of high fiber and protein-rich foods like chickpeas, lentils and noodles, tomatoes which contain lycopene, and a variety of herbs and spices that are high in health-protective antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained (or the equivalent in dried chickpeas)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil / ghee
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely or grated
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • ½ tsp turmeric / haldi
  • 1 cup passata (sieved tomatoes) or 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried split red lentils
  • 1 liter vegetable stock
  • Bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup soup noodles / rice vermicelli
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of half a lemon

Method

  • If using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight in plenty of cold water.
  • Heat the olive oil or ghee in a large saucepan and, over a medium heat, fry the onion for at least 10-15 minutes until softened and slightly browned.
  • Add the crushed garlic, ginger, ground cumin, turmeric or haldi, and the passata or chopped tomatoes, and fry together for a further 5 minutes. Then add the drained chick peas, the lentils and stock. Season the soup with salt and pepper.
  • Cover with a lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes (or 1 hour if using dried chickpeas). Stir occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking.
  • Add the noodles and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, until the noodles are soft. The soup should now have a thick consistency.
  • Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice. Spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with a sprinkling of cinnamon. Serve with warmed bread.

This soup is even more delicious when reheated and eaten the next day, when the flavors have had time to develop.

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