Moroccan / Tunisian / Algerian – Harira Soup

by Yushra Mughal

ABOUT THE DISH

Harira soup is one of the best soups in the North African region. It is basically a soup made with small pieces of lamb combined together with lentils and chickpeas. It has refreshing taste and has a silky texture which is why it is called Harira because when translated it means “silk”. It is a very popular soup for the winter season and mostly it is used in the month of Ramadan. It is a great way of breaking fast and the countries like Tunisia and Algeria all do this traditionally every year. It is considered to be a part of the Maghrebi cuisine. It is a great starter dish and sometimes it is eaten as main course as well. In winters its demand skyrockets as the people make this at homes to keep them cozy and also in the streets the stalls are filled with people to eat this. It is a very healthy soup which contains vegetables and give person a boost mentally and physically. It is also a family favorite dish and even the children love it and demand it every single day. There is no soup other like this as its taste is just great and vibrant.

ORIGIN AND HISTORY

The people from Morocco believe that the Harira is from the Fez. This country has a rich culinary history for about 14 centuries. This country is famous for its food and cookbooks so the people assumed that Harira could have been made here first. But when it comes to the real origins of Harira there is a soup with literally seven ingredients called harira mentioned by the Ahmed Ibn Hanbal 和 Mohamed el Bukhari in their books respectively. They are both the scholars of the Quran. They have said that, at earlier times this soup was not like this and has gone many changes since it has been a part of the Northern African cuisine. The original flavor had this sweet and savory taste and really helped the people in fulfilling their appetites. As all these years have gone by it has become an essential part of the Maghreb cuisine and it means a lot to the people. This shows this soups worth and affection with the people.

VARIATIONS

There are many variations for this soup which are as follows

  • WITH BEEF: In some parts of Africa people enjoy it with beef because it gives more natural nutrients and helps maintaining the body.
  • WITH CHICKEN : There are also some versions in which chicken is used because the children usually eat chicken more so the families makes it for them.
  • WITH VEGETABLES: This is quite a new one recently there are some people who are vegan so tend to make this soup with vegetables only.

INGREDIENTS REQUIRED TO MAKE IT

  • Lamb (diced)
  • Dried chickpeas 2 3/4 oz.
  • Green Lentils 2 3/4 oz.
  • Onion 1 (CHOPPED)
  • Tomatoes 7oz (diced)
Top view of white bowl full of diced tomato
  • Tomato Paste 2 1/2 oz.
  • Vermicelli Noodles 2 3/4 oz.
  • All Purpose Flour 3 Tbsp
  • Cinnamon bark 2 pieces
  • Ginger Powder 3/4 tsp
  • Celery leaves 1/4 Cup (Minced)
  • Parsley 1/4 Cup (Minced)
  • Coriander 1/4 Cup (Minced)
  • Salt 2 tsp
  • Pepper 1/2 tsp

DIRECTIONS TO MAKE THIS SOUP

  • Before starting you need to dip your chickpeas in water overnight.
  • Take a pan over a medium heat and add oil in it.
  • Add your lamb pieces.
  • Cook until they are brown.
  • Add the chopped onions.
  • Cook them for a few minutes.
  • Add the dices tomatoes.
  • Along with it add your chickpeas and the green lentils.
  • Also add the diced celery.
  • Add cinnamon barks and the ginger powder.
  • Then add salt and pepper.
  • Also add water.
  • All measurements are given above.
  • Mix them all together then let them cook for 40-45 minutes.
  • Take a small bowl and add some all purpose flour in it.
  • Add some water in it and mix it nicely.
  • Put this mixture in the soup pan. This will give the silky texture.
  • Now add the vermicelli noodles.
  • Also add the dices coriander and the parsley.
  • Mix well and let them cook for 10 more minutes.
  • Once cooked take it out and serve.
  • Enjoy

TIME NEEDED TO MAKE IT

PREPERATION TIME : 10 minutes
COOKING TIME : 55 minutes
TOTAL TIME : 1 hour and 5 minutes
YIELDS :
 5-6 servings

NUTRITION FACTS

Calories 107
Total Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.8g
Sugars 4.7g
Protein 4.7g
Sodium 888mg
Potassium 455mg

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