Harira (Moroccan Tomato, Lentil & Beef Soup)

Harira is a tomato-based soup that is a staple on Moroccan tables during Ramadan. It's frequently offered as part of iftar, or the evening meal that breaks the fast, alongside dates, milk, hard-boiled eggs, semolina pancakes, and chebakia (sesame biscuits).   

This version has chickpeas, lentils, meat, and noodles in a fragrant tomato broth, although there are limitless variants on the soup.  


– 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil – 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into bite-size piece – 1 medium onion, diced – 2 stalks celery, chopped – 3/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided, plus more for garnish – 3/4 cup minced fresh parsley, divided – 8 cups water – 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoe

– 1 cup dry brown or green lentils, rinsed – 1 cup no-salt-added canned chickpeas, rinsed – 1 tablespoon ground pepper – 2 teaspoons ground ginger – 1 1/2 teaspoons salt – 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon – 1 cup fideo noodles or broken vermicelli

In a big saucepan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add meat, onion, celery, and ¼ cup cilantro and parsley. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring periodically, until the meat is browned and the onions and celery have softened. 



In a saucepan, combine water, tomatoes and their juice, lentils, chickpeas, pepper, ginger, salt, turmeric, and cinnamon. Bring to a vigorous boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook, covered, for approximately 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the meat and lentils are cooked. 


Stir the broth thoroughly before adding the noodles. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the noodles are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining ½ cup cilantro and parsley. Garnish with more cilantro if desired.  



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