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Vegetarian Moroccan harira recipe

Vegetarian Moroccan harira recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Soup
  • Vegetable soup

Harira is a famous Moroccan soup, and here's a hearty vegetarian version - packed with tomatoes and chickpeas, and flavoured with paprika, turmeric, saffron, ginger and harissa. I like this soup pretty thick and nourishing, so I do not add too much water.

7 people made this

IngredientsServes: 5

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1kg tomatoes, diced
  • 250g cooked chickpeas
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1/2 teaspoon harissa
  • 1L water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil and add the chopped onion. Cook and stir till softened, then add the diced tomatoes, chickpeas, coriander, parsley, mint, paprika, turmeric, ginger, saffron and the harissa paste. Add a litre of water and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, take a few tablespoons of the broth, and mix with the cornflour and the flour till smooth. Pour the flour mixture into the soup and mix well. Add the cherry tomatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes to let the soup thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Tip

If you have time, peel your tomatoes. To do this, cut an 'x' on the bottom of each; submerge in boiling water for 25 seconds; transfer to an ice water bath; then peel gently and dice.

Video

Vegetarian Moroccan harira

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5 Vegetarian Moroccan Bean Recipes

Many people think that most Moroccan food has meat but the truth is a lot of the traditional recipes that people eat regularly have very little, if any meat. Morocco has a strong agricultural background and produce is plentiful and affordable. This has long been supplemented dried beans and grains.

There are some staple beans that are easy to get in Morocco lentils, chickpeas and white beans or cannellini beans. They&rsquore found at every small shop (hanout) and are often used to make dishes stretch further or supplement during bad harvest seasons.

Not only are these recipes vegetarian, most of them are vegan or can be made vegan with just a few adjustments.


Vegan Moroccan Harira

1. In a large pot set over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, ginger, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and salt and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is fragrant, 1½ to 2 minutes.

2. Add the diced tomatoes and cook, stirring any browned bits up from the bottom of the pot, until the mixture has slightly reduced, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Stir in the chickpeas and lentils, add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer over high heat. Once it comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons cilantro. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro. Calories per Serving: 289 Sodium: 749mg Total Carbohydrate: 53g Fiber: 11g Fat: 4g


Vegetarian Moroccan Harira

For Moroccans, harira soup is a Ramadan ritual. Every evening families sit down to bowls of steaming harira &ndash even when daytime summer temperatures soar about the 100F mark. As far as soup recipes go, you&rsquoll find quite a few ingredients in this one, however don&rsquot be intimidated as the process itself is pretty simple.

I love soup, but the last thing I want to do is leave my stove on for hours during the hottest part of summer. Instead, I created this quicker version to satisfy the Ramadan ritual but keep my house at a tolerable temperature.

Traditional harira is made with dried lentils, dry chickpeas, rice, vermicelli noodles, a potpurri of herbs and spices, vegetables, and meat &ndash most often lamb. If you&rsquove ever cooked with dry chickpeas you&rsquoll know this part of the cooking process can take hours, just to soften the beans.

I really prefer this soup without meat (but that&rsquos kind of every food lately!), and omitting meat automatically cuts off cooking time. My next shortcut is to use a pre-made broth and canned chickpeas.

I even filmed an episode for a series called Chez Benali that is airing on NPO2 (Dutch national TV). The recipe I shared was this one for my version of gluten-free, vegetarian harira. You can catch the episode I&rsquom in below. The entire series is really good and isn&rsquot all in Dutch so don&rsquot worry!

I wasn&rsquot sure how this short-cut soup was going to be received but surprisingly MarocBaba actually preferred this version to others that I have made. I know that this is one recipe I&rsquoll be holding onto for a long time to come. When the temperatures drop I&rsquoll be wanting a big giant bowl of this harira to warm me up.

This dish is not only vegetarian but it&rsquos a vegan Moroccan harira soup. I use brown lentils as they are easy to find in Morocco and inexpensive but you could also make this with red lentils, just add them a little bit later as they don&rsquot take quite as long to cook.

This soup takes 45min to 1 hour to make. Traditional harira takes several more. You might not be making this every night, but by making one big pot you&rsquoll be guaranteed leftovers.

To preserve, transfer soup to smaller sized, freezer safe containers and allow to cool completely. Cover the containers, and pop into the freezer. When you want to use it again, transfer to your refrigerator until the soup can be removed from the container. You could also submerge it part way in warm water. Heat through in a pan on the stove top.


A few harira making and eating tips

While this recipe calls for a lot of ingredients – especially spices – it really is quite easy to make. The secret is to have everything ready to go before you start cooking – chop all the veggies, measure out and sort through the lentils, measure all the spices, and then relax and enjoy cooking!

Like most soups, harira gets better the next day. Don’t be afraid to make a big batch so you can have leftovers. It will likely be quite thick on the second day – just loosen it with a bit of water while you reheat it, and it will be absolutely delicious!

To make harira into a meal, serve it with fresh bread, perhaps a simple salad, and dried dates.

While serving something sweet, like dried dates, with a savory soup might seem odd to many of our Western palates – I recommend giving it a try. It beautifully balances the flavors – tempering some of the sharper spices and bringing out the earthier nuances, and adds that memorable bit of Moroccan magic that we all love so much!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried, ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups (about 16 ounces) diced tomatoes - fresh or canned
  • Generous pinch saffron, lightly crushed between your fingers
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley, minced, about ½ cup, plus additional leaves for garnish
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, minced, about ½ cup, plus additional leaves for garnish
  • 8 cups vegetable stock, or water
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained, or 1 - 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dried red lentils, picked over for rocks
  • 1 cup (about 3½ ounces) vermicelli pasta, or angel hair pasta broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten, optional
  • The juice of half a lemon, plus additional wedges of lemon for serving
  • Extra virgin olive oil, and flakey sea salt for garnish
  • Dried dates for serving
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil becomes fragrant and begins to shimmer in the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and a big pinch of salt (Do be mindful of your salt - if your veggie stock is particularly salty, you may just want to add a small pinch at this point. You can always add more later.) and cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies soften and just begin to brown.
  2. Stir in the garlic, turmeric, cumin, ginger, a generous grind of black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Stir constantly until everything is very fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, along with the saffron, parsley, and cilantro. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the vegetable stock, and stir well.
  5. If using dried and soaked chickpeas, add to the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, or until the chickpeas are just tender. If using canned chickpeas, add them to the pot, skip the 25 minutes cooking, and proceed immediately to the next step.
  6. Stir in the dried red lentils, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered until the lentils and chickpeas are tender, 10 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot, and add more liquid if it is looking dry or sticky.
  7. Stir in the vermicelli, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. At this point, the harira should be quite thick and hearty, but not dry or sticky. Add additional liquid if you want a thinner, soupier texture.
  8. Stirring constantly, slowly drizzle in the beaten egg, creating whisps of cooked egg throughout the soup. Remove immediately from the heat.
  9. Stir in the juice of half a lemon, then give the harira a taste, adding additional salt or pepper if needed.
  10. Garnish the harira with cilantro and parsley leaves, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of flakey sea salt. Serve with bowls of lemon wedges and dried dates on the side.

Like most traditional soup recipes, there are about a bazillion versions of harira. Many versions call for meat, especially lamb, but for my recipe I wanted a lighter, more summery veggie soup. The egg is a commonly added ingredient, and boosts the protein, but can be easily omitted for a vegan soup.

Harira is all about the spices. Use the best quality, freshest spices you can, and ideally grind the cumin and black pepper just before using. Look for saffron threads that are fragrant and deeply colored, and simply crush them lightly between your fingers as you add them to the pot. I can practically guarantee that your house will smell amazing! Savory Spice is my favorite place to purchase high quality spices. You can visit their online shop at TasteOfThePlace.com/SavorySpice.

Expect the finished texture of your harira to be quite hearty and thick, but not dry or sticky. If you want a thinner, broth-y soup, simply add more liquid at the end of cooking.

While serving something sweet - like dried dates - with a savory soup, may seem odd - I recommend you give it a try. It beautifully balances the flavors - tempering some of the sharper spices and bringing out the earthier nuances, and adds that memorable bit of Moroccan magic that we all love so much!

Speaking of serving - in my humble opinion, it is the final touches that take a soup from good to great. Don’t skip the sprinkling of fresh herbs, drizzle of oil, pinch of flakey sea salt, or that last minute squeeze of lemon juice. It’s these extra little touches at the end that really make this soup sparkle.


Here&rsquos How To Make Moroccan Lentil Soup

Start by chopping and sautéing a mirepoix of carrots, celery and onions, along with a good amount of minced ginger and garlic.

Next add the ground spices: turmeric, cinnamon, paprika and red pepper. Stir the spices around in the pan for a minute or two, until they&rsquore lightly toasted.

At this point you&rsquoll be inhaling the beautiful aromatic flavors of this dish and you might close your eyes and take several deep sniffs and start sighing, as I did.

Lastly, add the tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and herbs. Now all you have to do is let it simmer for about a half hour&hellip.

This Moroccan lentil soup is hearty enough to be a main course. Cara suggests garnishing the bowl with a wedge of lemon to squeeze in, and a date. You can either chop the date, or just put it in the middle of the bowl and scoop up sweet bits of it with each spoonful of soup.

If you live in the Boston area, cooking classes at Sofra are a very special treat that I highly recommend. Imagine stepping into a warm Middle Eastern cafe at 6:30 in the evening.

Pour yourself a cup of tea and get comfy on one of the kilim-covered benches. As you watch the chef prepare the food, intoxicating aromas will float your way and you will be seriously craving the scrumptious dishes that are being created. Your wish will be answered with a delicious serving of each dish, along with the perfect wine pairing.

By the end of the night, you&rsquoll be happily stuffed and armed with a bunch of great new recipes to make at home (as well as some other irresistible items from Sofra, such as pomegranate molasses and earthquake cookies, if you&rsquore me.)

Here&rsquos the link for information about Sofra Bakery, Menu, Catering and Cooking classes.
Here&rsquos the link for Oleana Restaurant in Cambridge
Update! Chef Cara recently opened a Honey Road restaurant in Burlington Vermont. It&rsquos getting great reviews. I can&rsquot wait to check it out next time I&rsquom in Burlington.


Vegetarian Harira

This soup is typically made with lamb, beef or chicken, but this version is quite hearty.

Flour is typically added to the soup as a thickening agent, in some cases in a roux, but not here. Using cooked vermicelli keeps the pasta from becoming mushy (if it was cooked in the soup) the dish works well without it.

Make Ahead: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen (in small batches) for several months.

Servings:

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings makes 13 cups

Ingredients
Directions

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery and garlic cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables have softened and the onion is on its way to translucent, then stir in the tomato. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the tomato sauce, cilantro, parsley, lentils and chickpeas, stirring to incorporate.

Pour in 4 cups of the water add the salt, cumin (to taste), turmeric and pepper (to taste), stirring to mix well. Increase the heat to medium-high once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. If it seems too thick, add some or all of the remaining cup of water. Cover and cook for about 50 minutes or until the lentils are tender and silky, stirring occasionally. Taste, and add salt as needed.


Vegetarian Moroccan harira recipe - Recipes

Vegetarian Harira - A Moroccan Chickpea and Green Lentil Soup

4 tablespoons or less vegetable or olive oil
1 large onion (about 1 1/2-2 cups), peeled and diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
2 small celery from the inside of the stalk with leaves, diced and finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large beefsteak tomato (about 2 cups), stemmed and diced
4oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
25oz can canned chickpeas (about 2 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dry green lentils, rinsed and drained
4 cups water (plus 1 cup water or as needed as the lentils soak up the water and it evaporates)
1/2-1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4-1/3 teaspoon cumin (according to taste)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4-1/3 teaspoon black pepper (according to taste)

1/2 cup pre-cooked Vermicelli noodles cooked as directed on package. Boil water and drop the vermicelli in to cook for 2 minutes. Immediately drain under cold water. (optional)

Wedges of 1-2 lemons to serve

In a large pot sauté the onions, celery and garlic with the oil on low/medium heat while mixing occasionally. When the vegetables are softened and the onions are translucent, after 5-7 minutes, add the tomatoes and give a quick stir. Let the tomatoes cook for a few minutes until soft then add the tomato sauce, cilantro, parsley, lentils and chickpeas and stir. Cover with 4 cups of water, add the salt, cumin, turmeric and black pepper and mix. Bring to a boil, give a quick stir, and reduce the heat to low/medium heat, a low boil. Add the extra cup of water as necessary. Cook covered with the lid on for at least an hour at minimum or until lentils are silky soft.

Serve with a some vermicelli noodles and squeeze a wedge of lemon or to taste before serving.

This soup can be made up to five days ahead and freezes well. Freeze in small batches.

If you do not wish to dice and chop by hand, you can process the onion, celery, tomato, cilantro and parsley, each individually, through a rough chop, in the food processor. The food processor step makes this soup super easy to make.

This soup is typically made with lamb, beef or chicken but the vegetarian version is plenty hearty without any meat in it.

Flour is usually added to the soup as a thickening agent or in some cases a roux that was made ahead. I do skip this step as I find the soup hearty enough. I also like to pre-cook the vermicelli separately, and add to each serving dish, as needed, so that the vermicelli won't get mushy in a reheating or cooking process. I often do not add the vermicelli.


HARIRA

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 300 gr braising beef or lamb, boneless, trimmed of excess fat and cut in 3 cm pieces (i.e. shoulder, neck fillet, beef shin, etc)
  • 1 small onion (100gr), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • Pinch saffron
  • 70 gr dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained (or 140 gr canned chickpeas, drained)
  • 6 large tomatoes,grated
  • 100 gr celery, finely chopped
  • 80 gr green lentils
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • Lemon wedges to serve

METHOD

• In a large casserole warm the olive oil over medium heat and add the meat, the onion and the spices. Leave for 5 to 10 minutes to lightly brown the meat and sweat the onions. Stir occasionally.

• Transfer the rest of the ingredients in the casserole except the lentils, the cornflour, the coriander and the lemon wedges. Add 1 litre of water, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Leave to simmer for 60 minutes or until the meat is just about to be cooked.

• Add the lentils in the casserole and cover with a lid for 20 minutes. This will allow the lentils to cook and and the meat to finish cooking.

• When the chickpeas, the meat and the lentils are cooked, in a small bowl mix the cornflour with 3 tablespoons of water and stir until smooth. Pour the cornflour mixture in the casserole and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes until the harira thickens. Adding cornflour allows to thicken the harira in order to give it a velvety texture.

• Transfer the chopped coriander in the casserole and stir. Serve hot with lemon wedges.

Notes

• If you wish to add vermicelli and/or rice to your harira, transfer each of them in the casserole at the right time throughout cooking so they will be cooked at the same time as the chickpeas and the meat.

• Use plain regular flour if you don't have cornflour, however the recipe won't be gluten free anymore.

• If you forget to soak your chickpeas overnight, use 140 gr canned chickpeas (drained) and transfer them in the casserole at the same time as the lentils. Canned chickpeas cook much faster than dried and soaked ones.


Harira Recipe

Traditionally served after Ramadan to break the fast, I think Harira (or Moroccan Chickpea Soup) is the sexiest soup ever. That’s right. I suppose all the metaphors I impute to this soup is naturally subjective but I’m confident you’ll understand once you make it. Whenever I make this soup, I think of wild hair, heavy-lidded kohl-lined eyes, flowing fabric in burnished reds and golds, firelight, musk, and…..percussions.

Maybe its Morocco. But definitely also the spices. There is something to be said about the counterintuitive. The spices that you use in this soup are spices you typically associate with sweet stuff — cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger together — but when used along with cayenne, turmeric and coriander, they transform together into a passionately rich and satisfying soup. You definitely need a bold red wine to hold up to it.


Can I Freeze Harira?

BONUS: this is a fantastic, vegetarian meal prep recipe. You can make a big batch of the soup and store it for up to 3 days in the fridge. Simply warm it up and add your favorite toppings before digging in.

You can also freeze harira. After you make it, let the stew come to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container, and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. (Defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove, or in the microwave).

You can add a dollop of tangy yogurt or crème fraîche on top.



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