Sometimes, all you need is a Harira Soup

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Harira Soup شوربة الحريرة

Originating from Andalusia الأندلس, Harira حريرة is a heart warming soup that made its rich journey all the way to North Africa, namely Morocco and Algeria, to become yet another magical flavor of the exquisite North African Cuisine.  

Widely prepared during the month of Ramadan, and during the winter season (which is far from being the case in Dubai), this beautiful food brought me comfort and peace after a few stressful and busy weeks. And it was one of those kinds of dishes that fill your home, and heart along, with beautiful aroma. 

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Harira Soup

This soup takes some time to prepare (mise en place of the ingredients). But once you start bringing this soup together (mainly when adding the saffron to your soup basic mixture and having the magical smell of oriental spices invading your kitchen), you realize that this soup is so worth the work and that it just cant go wrong.

I have to admit though that it would normally be more interesting to work with dried chickpeas (about half a cup chickpeas soaked in water overnight), but I went for the road more taken and thus took the easier option (canned peas). Sorry! 

For the Recipe


2 tbsp olive oil

40 g butter

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, trimmed and finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 cm fresh ginger, grated

1 ½ tsp freshly ground cinnamon

½ tsp freshly ground pepper

½ tsp saffron threads

1 tsp salt, or to taste

350 g lamb meat, diced

1 can of chickpeas, washed and drained

2 large tomatoes, finely chopped

½  Ltr chicken stock

1 ½ Ltr hot water

½ cup green lentils, washed and drained

½ cup white basmati rice, washed and drained

a generous handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped, plus some extra leaves for garnish

zest of 1 lemon

juice of ½ lemon

  • In a large saucepan and over medium heat, heat the butter and olive oil, till butter has melted, sautée the onions, celery, and garlic. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 5 – 7 minutes, till onions start to soften. Add in the ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and saffron. At this magical moment, the smell will tell you you are on the right way to heavenly food. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the diced lamb meat. Sautee for about 5 minutes stirring continuously till meat is brown. add the chickpeas and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. 
  • Pour the chicken stock and water into the the pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Add the lentil and cook for another 15 minutes before adding in the rice. Cook further for about 10 – 15 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and add the lemon zest, juice and coriander. Give it a stir before serving the soup garnished with coriander leaves.

         Bon Appétit!