How to generate a filling and hearty winter’s dish with no meat. Harira is a classic lentil and chickpea soup with fresh herbs, loads of warm spices, and the added kick of harrisa paste. This is vegetarian (when one uses vegetable stock), and the flavors will meld and intensify for the next day’s meal.

Serving with lemon slices will add a bit of acid brightness, and topping with parsley will add a bit of herbaceous taste. As a side, I’ll take some hardboiled eggs and sprinkle them with salt and cumin seeds that I have toasted and ground.

From Wikipedia:

Harira is a traditional North African soup prepared in Morocco and Algeria. Algerian harira differs from Moroccan harira in that Algerian harira does not contain lentils. It is popular as a starter but is also eaten on its own as a light snack. There are many variations and it is mostly served during Ramadan, although it can be made throughout the year.

It is also part of the Maghrebi cuisine, where lemon juice and egg is added to brighten the flavors of the soup. Like Muslims, who traditionally have the filling soup for Iftar meals, Jews break their fast with it during Yom Kippur.


A classic Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup with fresh herbs and loads of warm spices.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course, Soup, Stew
Cuisine Arabic
Servings 4
Calories 484 kcal


  • 1 ea Onion Yellow, minced
  • 2 ea Celery Ribs Diced
  • 1 ea Carrot Peeled, Diced,
  • 6 cloves Garlic Peeled, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper Fresh Ground
  • 1 1/2 tsp Tumeric
  • 1 tsp Cumin Toasted and ground is so nice
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne
  • 2 cans Crushed Tomatoes 14 oz each
  • 3 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Green Lentils Picked, Washed
  • 1 cup Red Lentils Picked, Washed
  • 1 can Chickpeas 14 oz
  • 7 cups Stock Low Sodium, Chicken or Veg
  • 1/4 cup Rice Basmati, washed
  • 2 tsp Harissa Paste


  • In a large Dutch Oven, heat 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering.
  • Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Season with kosher salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly until softened.
  • Add the garlic, harissa, and spices and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring regularly
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, cilantro, lentils (both green and red), and chickpeas. Add a dash more kosher salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
  • Add the broth and raise the heat. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then turn the heat to low. 
  • Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour or until the legumes are fully cooked and very tender (check occasionally and plan to add more stock or water. 
  • The soup will be thick, but it should not be too thick that you cannot pour it. Make sure to adjust the salt as you add more liquid.)
  • Stir in the rice and cook for another 15 or until the rice is fully cooked.


I’ll serve this with lemon slices as acid and flatbread.  One could serve this as a stew over a bed of long-grain rice.


Calories: 484kcalCarbohydrates: 91gProtein: 29gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.4gSodium: 2053mgPotassium: 1701mgFiber: 34gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 1714IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 151mgIron: 11mg
Keyword Chickpea, Lentils, Spice
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  Filed under: Arabic, Bean, Cultural-Misappropriation, Follow On, Israeli, Jewish, Mediterranean, Simmer, Soup, Vegetarian, Winter

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