We have been enjoying the early signs of spring all week and it looks like it’s coming to a crashing end with rain predicted for every day this week so I thought this recipe would warm you up. In Morocco Harira is mainly eaten during Ramadan (which we are in at the moment) this soup is eaten at any time of the year including Summer, for me though it makes a great lunch or dinner and I think during winter there is nothing nicer than having some yummy soup simmering on the stove. It takes no time to prepare but about an hour or so to cook.
You will need:
½ Bunch flat leaf Parsley, chopped
1 bunch coriander, chopped
1 large brown onion diced
4 tsp Ground cumin
2 tsp Paprika
2 cinnamon quills
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 400g tin of lentils
1 400g tin of chickpeas
2 x 400g tins crushed tomatoes or 1 700ml bottle tomato passata
6 cups of water
100g cooked rice or spaghetti broken into small pieces
Ensure you rinse the coriander prior to chopping it up in a sink filled with water as for some reason there is always lots of sand or grit in the bunch.
In a large saucepan or cast iron pot heat the olive oil, onion, spices and herbs. Cook gently for about 5 mins. Puree tinned tomatoes with flour in a blender and add to the pan, if you are using Tomato Passata then just add that to the soup and mix the flour with some water until you have a runny paste, add this to the soup and stir well. Add water and season with Salt & Pepper, simmer for ½ an hour and season again to taste. Add rinsed lentils & chickpeas & continue to simmer gently for another hour, add the rice or pasta & return to a gentle simmer. You want the soup to have a hearty flavor but not be too thick. This will make more than enough for a couple of meals & as it reheats it will become thicker as the pasta etc will absorb some of the liquid.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and freshly chopped parsley. During Ramadan we will serve Harira with fresh dates.