Seasonal Soup – Moroccan Harira

Seasonal September  Soup –  Moroccan Harira

by Karimah bint Dawoud, muslim chaplain and well being writer

Comfort foods need not be fattening, as we crave the serotonin high of carbohydrates at this time of the year.They are not really that necessary unless you have a  high energy lifestyle in order to burn them off. Soups are great comfort foods packed with loads of goodness and it’s not necessary to eat great chunks of bread unless its lunch and you have a busy afternoon.

This tasty traditional Moroccan soup is packed with loads of seasonal goodies like onions, carrots and celery. As I have mentioned in previous posts, celery is mentioned in the medicine of the prophet(peace and blessing  of Allah be upon him). 

I believe the foods we should be eating are provided for us by The Creator, at the right time of the year, in the location  we live in. Combined with some Islamic medicine and knowledge of herbs and spices…….to keep you bright and shiny inshallah.


Soak your red lentils


Wash your vegetables  and herbs


Soak you meat in salt water(meat is optional not necesary)then rinse and drain


Chop veggies


Add 10ml of sunflower oil to pot and on medium heat add chopped onions and celery


Sauté celery  and onions till soft and slightly golden


Add carrots and sauté, gently fry for another 5 minutes, stirring


Take veggies out and place in bowl


Lamb can be a bit fatty so its not necessary to add more oil as the meat will release it’s own oil into  the meal.

STEP 10 

Add  meat to the same pot as the veggies were in  and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes till brown


Turn meat over , you can see  it’s brown on one side, golden brown not burnt, cook for another 5 minutes till both sides are sealed


Add veggies back to pot  and stir


Add cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and salt and mix in

STEP 14 

Add dry mint and basil, now here is where you may think “Oh it looks a bit dry, I need to add more oil,” resists that urge, trust me the meat has enough oil. stir.


Strain and add  the red lentils, mix  in


Add tomatoe puree and choped tomatoes

STEP 17 

Add about a litre of  water, give it a good stir and bring to the boil , then turn down low and cover for 30 minutes


Chop your herbs, basil ,mint, coriander and parsley


Add more water, you don’t want the lentils to stir to the bottom, add tinned chick pea and chopped fresh herbs and cover and cook for another 30 minutes


Traditionally Moroccans add vermecilli noodles  but we dont, we add some okra and cooked for a further 5 minutes.


 Serve with lemon juice and a drop of olive oil, curl up and keep warm…..aaaaah,. alhmdulilah , praise The Creator.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. jouhara says:

    This is not Moroccan Harira . we do not use carrots, dry mint and basil,

  2. As salaam alaikum, thank you for your comment , recipe writing and creating is not a static, stagnant art form, that is if you regard cooking as a creative activity rather than a mundane one. MASHALLAH I am very familiar with the traditional way that Moroccans from Tangiers cook harira soup, including the unnecessary and industrial use of white flour in it .My cuisine is not the traditional replication of what has been cook for hundreds of years without any refinement or nutritious critique.I take traditional dishes and make them moor,I have a Moroccan female friend who told me her husband would kill her if she added okra to harira, i said “Alhamdulilah you are married to him not me!”
    There is a restaurant in London called Soup Works, who specialise in good soup made in an organic, natural way and they also use dry basil and mint in their harira, its actually better for the digestion as harira is quite an acid soup.They a have wonderful book of international recipes called Soup, published by Kyle Cathy Limited.

    I seek to improve on what is already there with additions of seasonal produce and Islamic medicine knowledge, inshallah I hope this explanation of my cuisina helps you understand my contemporary perspective.

  3. SAFIA says:

    Masha Allah, jazakumuAllah kheir

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