Would you like to know how to make Harira?
This Moroccan Ramadan Soup Recipe is easy, wholesome and perfect for any winter’s day. Its traditional bone broth base is packed with nutrients one would need. Bone broth benefits are not only good during Ramadan but throughout the whole year. This makes Harira, the perfect go-to comfort food as well!
But firstly, I would like to wish you all a very productive and blessed Ramadan.
I pray that we all fulfil our obligations and even exceed them insha Allah. May Allah SWT accept our efforts & good deeds from us as well as bless us with the strength & steadfastness to complete this special month with the same energy, enthusiasm and good intentions as we began with, Ameen.
Ramadhan isn’t Ramadhan in a Moroccan household without the Moroccan Harira Soup. The Aroma of this bone broth soup rises from almost every household, rich or poor, every day of this blessed month.
What’s In This Moroccan Bone Broth Soup
Harira is famously known to consist of red meat bone stock. It’s made with meat, onion, tomatoes, celery, chickpeas or brown lentils (or sometimes both) & lots of greens. Vermicelli and a cornflour mix are usually added at the end.
Moroccans can be quite strict concerning this popular soup’s ingredients, so much so that without any one of the above key ingredients, this soup isn’t really classed as Harira Soup. So yes, it’s personal!
Harira Soup Variations
There are many variations of this harira soup. The variation of Harira that a Moroccan would be used to would ultimately depend on what area of Morocco they were from.
Our Harira recipe was taught to us by my father, who had it handed down by his mother, who got it from her mother and so on. So Harira recipes are passed down from generation to generation and will differ and change according to your family influences and preferences.
Some versions will include lentils in addition to chickpeas. Some parts of Morocco will add more tomato paste for that extra red colour and concentrated taste. Others will prefer to use fresh tomatoes which resemble a more saffron colour and lemony taste. There are also some variations that feature broken pieces of vermicelli and egg, and some that use the vermicelli without the added scrambled egg.
Smen is also a popular Harira ingredient, which is a Moroccan preserved butter with an acquired taste. Some absolutely LOVE to add it to their soup and couldn’t have it without it. And some people just can’t bear the flavour and prefer to keep it out 😉
Harira is typically made with chicken, lamb, beef stock or broth, with or without the meat. And this can be previously made or done on the same day. You can, however, choose to skip the meat & stock altogether for a completely vegetarian or vegan version.
You can also create a gluten-free variation by replacing the vermicelli with rice or mung bean noodles and skipping the flour mix.
How is Harira Served?
Harira can be served as a starter if given in a smaller portion, or the main dish. It’s usually served with lemon slices (for the juice), Moroccan meloui, boiled eggs (that are halved and seasoned with salt & crushed cumin), dates &/or figs and shebakia (also known as chebakia or kwilesh) which is a famous Moroccan Ramadan honey sweet.
Modern times have introduced small savoury appetizers to the Ramadan table to accompany the Harira. These can include mini pizzas, quiches, sausage rolls, filled bodbod, mini bastilla or spring rolls.
Recipe For Moroccan Harira Soup
- Pressure Cooker
- 1/4 kilo Halal lean Beef cut small (you can also use minced meat for meatballs as an alternative)
- 1 Large Onion chopped small
- 1/2 Batch Fresh Parsley washed and chopped very finely.
- 1/2 Batch Coriander washed and chopped very finely.
- 1 Large or 2 small sticks of Celery washed and chopped very finely.
- 3-4 tbsp Tomatoe Puree
- 3-4 Fresh Tomatoes washed peeled and chopped small.
- 1 can Cooked Chickpeas (skinned) or you can use 1 cup of raw chick peas but wash and soak before cooking
- 2 pints Beef or Lamb Stock or Broth previously made from bones or you can add the bones in to cook with meat at the same time if preffered
- 1 tsp Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric or Safron
- 3-4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 Lemon juice
- 1/2 cup Vermicelli
- 1/2 cup Brown Lentils washed and soaked
- 2 tbsp Corn flour mixed with water to form a smooth paste
- 2 eggs optional if using
- 1 Beef Or Lamb Stock Cube (if no bones or broth available)
- Add oil to the pressure cooker or large pot and stir-fry the cut meat and onions until brown.
- All the greens have to be washed & cut small, this can be time-consuming so it has become a popular, more modern trend to blend all the greens and sometimes even the onion if you want, together with the fresh tomatoes & paste in a blender/liquidizer with the previously made meat stock (or water if you are adding the bones to the Harira at the same time. The secret is to not blend until smooth but just until it is small enough to seem chopped 😉
- Add this blended mixture to the fried meat and onions and then add your spices and lemon juice. (Sorry I added my spices earlier 😉
- If you're adding the bones to the Harira you can do so now and if you're using raw chickpeas and lentils add these too at this point. Then close the pressure cooker and cook for 30-40mins from 1st blow. If you are using a standard pot then just cover and leave to boil until the meat is tender and the chickpeas & lentils are soft.
- When you open the pot the soup may have evaporated a bit so now you may add more water to the preferred consistency then check and amend salt and seasoning.
- If you are using tinned chickpeas, drain them, peel off the skin and wash. Then add them to the soup & boil until slightly softer.
- Traditionally at this point, we scramble the 2 eggs slightly and then add them to the soup stirring occasionally just so it's evenly separated but not too small and stringy. Personally, we as a family enjoy our Harira served with boiled egg, so I tend to skip the last bit normally but I did add this to half my soup afterwards for the pictures 😉