Harira soup

Harira soup

A Month in Marrakesh
David Loftus

This famous soup is traditionally eaten at sundown to break the fast each day during the thirty fasting days of Ramadan when it is commonly served with dates and honey cakes called grioche. There are many versions of this nourishing soup with or without meat and using different pulses such as chickpeas and lentils.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
garlic, peeled and finely chopped
celery, trimmed and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
500g leg of lamb, cut into 1cm pieces
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon see method for ingredients
1 liter vegetable stock
400g tomatoes, chopped
400g chickpeas, drained
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
arab-style flatbreads


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, celery, carrots and parsley until softened or for about 5–7 minutes. Add the lamb and brown, stirring, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Next add the cumin, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, bay leaves and tomato pureé, stir well and cook for 5 minutes. Add stock, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
  3. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas and cook for a further 30 minutes, adding a little more water if the mixture is too thick. Season generously with salt and pepper then ladle into bowls and serve with bread.
North African
A Month in Marrakesh
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