Harira is the most iconic soup of Moroccan cuisine. You can find it in many restaurants and a Moroccan Iftar table in Ramadan is not complete without harira. When you visit Morocco, this is definitely one of the dishes you must try! If you haven’t tasted harira, you haven’t tasted Moroccan food! Fortunately, you don’t have to go all the way to Morocco to enjoy this soup. With this recipe, you can easily prepare an authentic vegan harira at home.
As with many Moroccan dishes, there are also different variants of Harira. The most popular version is, of course, harira with beef. Meat is expensive and not everybody can afford it, so it is also common to cook harira without meat. Chickpeas, tomatoes, herbs, spices, and soup noodles are a must in every harira. Some people season their harira with special harira bouillion cubes and color it with yellow food color (the color is called “safran” and it is a cheap substitute for saffron, though the two products have nothing in common). Some people add, besides chickpeas, also lentils. Smen (Moroccan fermented butter) and egg drops are also popular ingredients. To obtain a homogeneous consistency, the harira is finally bound with a mixture of flour and water.
As you see, harira is a very rich, nutritious, and soothing soup. That’s why it is so popular during Ramadan. The vegan version that I show you today, does without soup cubes and artificial coloring. The taste comes from lots of fresh herbs, fresh tomatoes, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Turmeric gives a warm color to the soup.
When you cook harira, it is important to remove the seeds from the tomatoes. Otherwise, the soup will get a sour flavor. For my vegan harira, I prefer to peel the chickpeas. This way, they become very tender. Besides chickpeas, I add also some brown lentils. Harira needs time to cook, but the preparation time is short. When you want to reheat over left harira, heat only the amount that you want to eat. This way it will keep longer. If, on the other hand, it is heated frequently, it quickly loses its taste and quality. Do you want more Moroccan flavor in a meatless way? Then try also my vegetarian tanjia! And now let’s start with the recipe!
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium-size onions
- 4-5 medium-size tomatoes
- 200g of soaked chickpeas
- 100g brown lentils
- 3 large tablespoons celery leaves
- 2 large tablespoons fresh coriander
- 2 large tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- black pepper powder, about 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons tomato paste
- about 2 liters of water
- 1 hand of soup noodles
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Put the lentils into some water and soak them. Next, peel the onions and chop them roughly. Then, heat the olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onions on low flame.
- While you fry the onions, peel the tomatoes with a sharp knife. Then, halve them and remove the seeds.
- Next, put the tomatoes into the pot with the onions and also add 1 liter of water. Bring the soup to boil.
- While the soup is being heated, chop the celery, the parsley, and the coriander and set about 1 tablespoon of the chopped herbs aside.
- When the soup has come to boil, add the herbs, the spices, and also the tomato paste. Cook the soup for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes are soft.
- Meanwhile, peel the soaked chickpeas. Therefore, take a chickpea and press it between your thumb and your index finger and rub it a little. The skin will remove easily. Do it with all the chickpeas. 10 minutes should be enough to peel them all.
- When the tomatoes are cooked, blend the soup.
- Next, put the peeled chickpeas and the soaked lentils into the harira. Also, add more water. Now cook the soup until the lentils and the chickpeas are soft. That will take about 45 minutes. Stir the soup from time to time.
- When the legumes are cooked, mix the flour with some water and stir it well so that you get a very thin batter. Pass the mixture through a sieve into the soup and stir the soup well.
- Now add the soup noodles and the herbs, that you previously set aside. Cook the vegan harira for another 5 minutes. Finally, taste the soup and add more spices if necessary. Harira is traditionally served with dates.