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Meatless Harira (A Moroccan soup)

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“This recipe is adapted from the one found in Paula Wolfert's "Couscous and Other Good Foods From Morocco". It should be stated that traditionally, the soup is made with meat, usually lamb. However, my husband (who is Moroccan) doesn't like it with meat, and so I came up with a meatless version; the broth cube adds some "meaty" flavor. Also, garam masala is Indian, not Moroccan; however, it is close to the Moroccan spice "ras el hanout" and adds a good flavor to the soup. This soup is traditionally prepared during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting; however, it is good at any time, especially when cold weather arrives.”
2hrs 10mins
1 large pot of soup

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large soup pot, saute the onion, parsley, celery, pepper and turmeric in the butter for a few minutes, then add the cinnamon and other spices.
  2. Saute on very low heat for about 15 minutes or less, until the onions are soft and the spices are well-distributed.
  3. Wash the lentils.
  4. Puree the coriander leaves in a blender with a little water, or pound with a mortar and pestle.
  5. Add both to the pot, along with the crushed tomatoes (I also like to puree the tomatoes in the blender before I add them, to eliminate any large chunks that might remain).
  6. Cook for 15 minutes over low heat, and then add 1 1/2 quarts of water (about 7 cups).
  7. Add the soup cube.
  8. Cook on low/medium heat until the lentils are soft (I usually let the soup cook for about 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend).
  9. A few minutes before serving, add salt to the soup (you could also add some vermicelli or other small soup noodle at this point, but I personally don't; if you do, make sure to allow an extra few minutes for the noodles to cook).
  10. Add the flour and water mixture; mix well to prevent lumps from forming.
  11. Serve with lemon wedges on the side, to be squeezed over the soup.

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