Moroccan Harira soup

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3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 300g lamb shank
1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked for 24 hours and drained, or half 14-oz can, drained
1/2 cup dried green lentils, rinsed and drained
1 onion, finely chopped
3 ribs celery, trimmed and chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp saffron strands
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Lemon quarters, for serving


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and brown on all sides. Add the chickpeas, lentils, onion, celery, spices and tomato paste. Add 6 1/2 cups water, cover the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer until the chickpeas are tender and the meat is falling off the bone, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  2. Remove the lamb from the soup and strip the meat off the bone, then chop the meat and return it to the saucepan.
  3. Place the flour in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 1 1/4 cups cold water, whisking until the mixture is completely smooth, then stir into the soup. Return the soup to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken.
  4. Stir in the chopped fresh herbs, season with salt and plenty of pepper and serve with lemon quarters on the side.

Prep & cook time: 3 hours

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