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Harira, a flavorful Moroccan soup made with dried legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and fava beans, is normally served with lamb or lamb broth, but this version is vegan.
Although it is traditionally eaten to break the fast during Ramadan, it is also served throughout the year. The soup tastes best the next day after the flavors have merged, but it may thicken if refrigerated. When warming, thin with water or broth and adjust the salt.

What is Harira?

Harira is is a typical North African soup that is made in Morocco and Algeria. It is popular as a starter, but it can also be eaten as a light snack on its own. There are various versions, and it is typically served during Ramadan, however, it can be cooked at any time of year.

It is also used in Maghrebi cuisine, where lemon juice and egg are used to enhance the flavors of the soup. Jews, like Muslims, break their fast with the filling soup during Yom Kippur, just as they do during Iftar.

The name harira, which is derived from the Arabic word for silk, refers to the texture of the soup after it has been thickened with eggs or a tedouira of flour and water. The tedouira (thickener) may contain yeast and be let to ferment for a day or two.

Although harira is made all year, it is most commonly linked with Ramadan, when it is eaten alongside chebakia and other traditional meals to break the fast. This custom is so deeply engrained in Moroccan culture that many Moroccans consider a Ramadan meal incomplete unless harira is served.

How Does Harira Taste?

It’s tangy, sweet, and just savory enough to keep you going back for more. The soup is calming and easy on the stomach on an empty stomach, and it helps to prepare the body for the heavy meal that follows. It has an “important nutritional role and helps you to fast throughout the day.

During the month of Ramadan, the most popular recipe is harira. You can walk through the streets of any Moroccan city and smell it, or better yet, hear the whistling of pressure cookers.

Things To Know About Harira

  • It’s generally served with dates or chebakia.
  • It is offered as an appetizer.
  • During the month of Ramadan, it is served virtually every day for Iftar (Breaking the fast).
  • To enhance the flavor, it’s frequently served with a squeeze of lemon.
  • It can be cooked with or without meat.


Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour


  • 1 pound cubed lamb meat
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsps ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 29 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 7 cups water
  • 3/4 cup green lentils
  • 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans drained
  • 4 ounces vermicelli pasta
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 lemon juiced


  • Place the lamb, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, butter, celery, onion, and cilantro into a large soup pot over a low heat.
  • Stir frequently for 5 minutes.
  • Pour tomatoes (reserve juice) into the mixture and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Pour tomato juice, 7 cups water, and the lentils into the pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer.
  • Let soup simmer, covered, for 2 hours.
  • About 10 minutes before serving turn the heat to medium-high, place chickpeas and noodles into the soup, let cook about 10 minutes (until noodles are al dente).
  • Stir in lemon and eggs, let eggs cook 1 minute.
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