Stacks of Soup Bowls

Moroccan Harira



I love this unusual and flavorful soup from Morocco.  I found this recipe posted by a cook named Hajar on and I like to make it as written except that I don’t always use meat, especially when I make it in warmer months.  This soup is substantial enough to be a main course with the addition of a nice warm naan or other fresh bread.  Don’t forget to serve extra lemon wedges and hot sauce so each diner can personalize the flavor of their dish.

Harira -- the National Soup of Morocco

Yield: 10 servings


  • 1 cup whole dried fava beans
  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans
  • 2 liters water
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 3 cups onions, minced
  • 1/2 lb lamb, cut in small pieces
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp finely ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp finely ground caraway seeds
  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 med tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 1 lemons
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup lentils, soaked for 1 hour 1 in cold water and drained
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 -3 tsp salt
  • 2 cups vermicelli, broken into 1/4-inch pieces
  • lemon wedges, for serving


  • Rinse and pick over fava beans if you can't get these then use dried broad/lima/butter beans and chickpeas. Soak overnight in water to cover. Quick soak method; place beans in large soup pot and add 2 litres hot water. Bring water to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and soak beans for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Squeeze each fava bean and chickpea between your thumb and first two fingers to remove skins. Set aside.
  • In large soup pot over medium heat, cook the onions and meat (chicken can be used as well as beef or no meat at all though NEVER pork) stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add turmeric, ginger, paprika and 2 litres water. Cover and bring to rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add fava beans, chickpeas and cook, covered, until beans are tender. 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on your beans.
  • Finely chop together tomatoes, parsley and cilantro. Add this mixture along with the tomato paste, the lentils, pepper, juice of the lemon and drop in 1/2 of the squeezed lemon and salt to taste. Cover and cook until lentils are tender 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Bring back to the boil and make a fairly thick slurry (flour and water) with the 1/2 cup of flour. Add this to the boiling soup stirring very briskly to avoid lumps. Boil one minute stirring constantly. Add nutmeg and caraway. Bring the soup to medium heat, you just want a nice slow bubbling.
  • Add pasta (orzo or small soup pasta can be used as well though I always prefer vermicelli) and cook until soft. Taste and add salt to taste and adjust pepper. When soup is heated through, ladle harira into individual soup bowls. Serve immediately with lemon wedges, Moroccan flat bread, Naan or crusty french baguette. This soup should be velvety, not overly thick.
  • Prep time does not include soaking the beans.

This post is participating in Real Food Wednesday and in Sunday Soup Night.


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  1. This looks like a really tasty and satisfying soup! I’m hosting a weekly blog carnival specifically for soups, stocks and chowders, every Sunday! I would love it if you would come over and post this recipe. Here’s a link with more information:

    I hope to see you there!

  2. I saw your recipe posted on the Easy Natural Food site and wondered how you made your soup. I have a recipe for the same soup but the ingredients are similar in some ways and different in others. I can’t wait to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing. Sue

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with Sunday Night Soup Night! I’ll be hosting weekly through fall and winter, so I’d love to see you again with your next soup/stock/chowder recipe.

  4. I just tweeted this soup as one of my favorites from Sunday Night Soup Night! Thanks for linking up and hope to see you again soon :)

    • Glad you liked it, I’m looking forward to the next round. I am a lifelong soup lover so I get excited when the subject turns to soup!

  5. Pingback: Sunday Night Soup Night! 12/11/11 | Easy Natural Food

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