Harira, Moroccan Soup with Lentils, Onions and Saffron Recipe
Harira, Moroccan Soup with Lentils, Onions and Saffron
Flavors of Morocco
Total time: more than 2 hours
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 stages
Broth: 1 1/2 hours
Tedouira: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note
Harira is the national soup of Morocco. During the 30 days of Ramadan, every household prepares this flavorful soup, filling the streets with its aroma at sundown. It's served accompanied by dates or honey cake. There are various versions of this soup, but this is the classic.
Ingredients for 12 servings
Broth (tka-taa)
- 250 g (8 oz.) veal or mutton, in cubes
- You can replace the meat with the giblets from 3-4 chickens
- 4-5 small meaty bones
- 500 g (18 oz.) fairly small whole Onions
- 1/2 tsp. Saffron (half natural, half artificial)
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 knob of butter
- 250 g (9 oz.) Lentils
- Salt
- 1.5 liters (6 cups) water for the broth
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1.5 kg (3 lb.) ground tomatoes or 1 can of tomato concentrate
- 2.5 liters (10 cups) water
- 3/4 of a small glass of lemon juice
- 1 knob of butter
- 200 g (7 oz.) flour
- Salt

Making the broth

  1. Cook the lentils in salted water; drain and add the juice of 1 lemon. Set aside.
  2. Place the other ingredients in a pot, cover, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook; remove the onions once they are done so they stay whole.
  3. After about 1 hour, check the meat for doneness and remove from the heat. Add the lentils and onions to the mixture.

Making the tedouira

  1. Bring the water and tomatoes or tomato concentrate to a boil; add a knob of butter. Boil for 15 minutes, then add the broth from the first mixture, leaving the meat, lentils, onions, etc. in their pot.
  2. Off the heat, gradually add the flour combined with 1 liter (4 cups) cold water, stirring rapidly to prevent lumps from forming.
  3. Return to the heat and continue stirring gently until it comes to a boil.
  4. Add the cilantro and parsley, very finely chopped or mashed in a mortar with the amount of salt required for seasoning. Dilute with 1 liter (4 cups) water and pour into the pot, while stirring (or mix in a blender). Check the seasoning and remove from the heat when very hot. Harira should be smooth and velvety but not thick.
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