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Wednesday, 4 November 2015 12:00 AM

Harira Soup – The Moroccan Holiday Must

Whilst the tajine is the most famous Moroccan recipe and is a certainty that you will try whilst on your holiday in Morocco, harira is another traditional Moroccan dish that is very understated and rather under publicised and definitely something that you should try.

Moroccan Special

Harira is a Moroccan speciality and most Moroccan families and restaurants will have their own secret recipe for it. At its core is a hearty, meaty, zesty thick soup. It can be a meal in its own right but in most restaurants will be offered as a starter – to be honest, even a starter portion would often do me for the evening without a main course to follow.

Harira Recipe

The core of the soup is meat – 200g of beef or lamb chopped into chunks and browned in oil.

Spice is the key – a good bunch of finely chopped coriander (including stalks) and parsley, a grated onion, a finely chopped celery stalk, all fried to which add 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp turmeric, 1 table spoon ground ginger, salt, pepper, half a tin of soaked chic peas (if using dried peas you will need to soak overnight), 6 peeled (seeded) and mashed tomatoes and 2 cups of water (check the consistency during cooking to ensure it’s not too dry).

Optional Extras – finely chopped carrots and/or parsnips can be added in this last stage. Also Moroccans will often use their own harissa mix (mix of herbs and spices). If you are not sure of the depth of taste you may wish to add a stock cube.

Time is vital – lower the heat and cover this pot and leave to stew gently for around 30 minutes.

Finishing touches – add some dry lentils, 3 tbs tomato paste and a litre of water and simmer for up to an hour before adding broken vermicelli for a few minutes until cooked before thickening with flour and water mix. Lemon juice and zest is added as a final zesty twist. This soup is often served with Moroccan flat bread.

Savour Morocco

For meat eaters harira is an excellent hearty dish with a truly Moroccan spice element, I strongly encourage you to try it but make sure you are hungry if you have it as a starter before a full main course.

There are several places that you can try to cook Moroccan dishes whilst on holiday in Morocco, talk to our team if you are interested in such an experience.