Hajar's Harira (moroccan Soup)

Hajar's Harira (moroccan Soup)

6 reviews, 5 star(s). 100% would make again

Ready in 12 hours

The National Soup of Morocco. Served each night at sundown to break the Ramadan Fast.


1 cup whole dried fava beans
1 cup dried garbanzo beans
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
3 cups Onions; minced
0.5 pound lamb; cut in small pieces
2 teaspoons Ground turmeric
2 teaspoons Ground ginger
0.5 teaspoon nutmeg; finely ground
0.5 teaspoon caraway seeds; finely ground
0.75 cup Tomato paste
1 large Lemon
0.5 cup Flour
0.5 cup flat leaf parsley; chopped
0.25 cup coriander leaves; chopped
1 cup lentils; soaked for 1 hour 1 in cold water and drained
1 teaspoon pepper; fresh ground
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 cups vermicelli; broken into 1/4-inch pieces
4 medium Lemons; cut into wedges

Original recipe makes 32



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 transluscent.

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 epending on your beans. Finely chop together 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 vermecelli) 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 or crusty french baquette. This soup should be velvety, not overly thick.

HAJAR's NOTES: There are as many recipes for harira as there are people who eat it though there are essentials. The beans and lentils, cilantro, tomato and pasta of some sort. This is my own recipe based on ingredients and flavors which I enjoyed from other hariras. Harira is eaten all year, not only at Ramadan though it would not be Ramadan without it! This soup along with others is used traditionally for breakfast at sunset. This would be a first course served with accompaniments and bread before moving on to heavier foods. Many break fast with milk and dates; a very old tradition and I doubt that they knew way back when that the combination of natural sugar and the milk protein were a near perfect combination. Some find this a bit too rough for the first thing in the stomach. While harira is the national soup of Morocco, history tells that this is not a Moroccan invention but an invention of the Maghreb of which Morocco is a part. This recipe may look truly daunting though it really isn't. In our house the first course on the table is always either harira, chorba, or one of my stews; usually chicken, dates, pistachios and fruit. Then after that settles we move on to a normal main course without the use of garlic as it is forbidden during Ramadan. Before bed we will usually have a pot of tea and a rice pudding, dessert couscous or just the tea. Shebakia, the very honey sweet Ramadan sesame cookies are always here though we prefer to have them with coffee and not necessarily daily. Harira is eaten all year, not only at Ramadan. In Morocco the nutmeg is ground to a powder which is darker and very pungent. If you cannot find or do your nutmeg this way, purchase the freshest nutmeg that you can find.

Original Recipe By Hajar Ayaou

Each (app 1 cup) serving contains an estimated:

Cals: 163, FatCals: 25, TotFat: 3g

SatFat: 1g, PolyFat: 1g, MonoFat: 1g

Chol: 5mg, Na: 193mg, K: 297mg

TotCarbs: 28g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 3g

NetCarbs: 22g, Protein: 7g


We first experienced harira in Delhi, India and enjoyed it so much I hunted down recipes to make it at home. This is one of the best recipes for harira I could find.

Verified by stevemur
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Calories Per Serving: 194 Get detailed nutrition information, including line-by-line nutrition insights?  Try BigOven Pro for Free for 14 days!

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This was a great success at out Morrocan themed dinner club night. I used canned beans instead of dried beans (2.5 cups each). After cooking meat, beans and lentils, the soup had a great texture, so I didn't use the flour slurry.
fuchsr 2y ago

In between ground ginger and ground nutmeg it should read. 2 teaspoons sweet papreika (the best most vibrant you can find) - I found this recipe on another site. I am really interested in making this recipe. As soon as I make it, i will post here, and the other site as to how it came out!!
niceNspicy 6y ago

I am making Hajar's Harira for the first time. In the directions it is said to chop the tomatoes with the parsley and cilantro. However, I do not see the tomatoes listed in the ingredients.
alwaysinthekitchen 6y ago

[I made edits to this recipe.]
promfh 8y ago

We first experienced harira in Delhi, India and enjoyed it so much I hunted down recipes to make it at home. This is one of the best recipes for harira I could find. [I made edits to this recipe.]
promfh 8y ago

Thank You Steve! For everyone, the photos show coriander seed, but the recipe clearly says coriander leaves which is also known as cilantro. I just wanted to make sure nobody used the seed for this recipe. Hajar
Hajar 8y ago

[I made edits to this recipe.]
stevemur 8y ago

I am the Hajar who owns the copyright to this recipe. Yes, it is my own recipe and I found this by accident on google. I have no problem with it being reproduced as credit is given to me. One thing I must correct though is that this recipe is NOT Middle Eastern; it is North African nor is it actually a chick pea (hummus) soup. I do have a recipe though for Moroccan hummus soup. I am happy to have joined! Hajar Ayaou
Hajar 8y ago

Harira is eaten all year, not only at Ramadan. Egyptian members of our extended family told us that this recipe is quite authentic. It certainly is delicious in any case. [I posted this recipe.]
promfh 9y ago

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