For 4 Person(s)

Harira Soup

  • 1/2 lb uncooked meat (lamb, beef, or chicken) chopped into 1/2 pieces
  • several soup bones (optional)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 1 handful of dry chickpeas, soaked and then peeled
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 6 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and pureed
  • 3 tbsp dry lentils, picked over and washed
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste, mixed evenly into 1 or 2 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp uncooked rice
  • 1 cup flour


Step 1 - Ahead of Time

Soak and skin the chickpeas. (You might want to soak them the night before you cook.) Pick through the lentils and wash them. 

Peel, seed and puree the tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Or, stew the tomatoes and pass them through a food mill to remove the seeds and skin. 

Pick the parsley and cilantro leaves from their stems. Small pieces of stem are OK, but discard long, thick pieces with no leaves. Wash the herbs, drain well, and finely chop them by hand or with a food processor.

Step 2 - Brown the Meat

Put the meat, soup bones and oil into a 6-qt. or larger pressure cooker. Over medium heat, cook the meat for a few minutes, stirring to brown all sides.

Step 3 - Make the Stock

Add the cilantro, parsley, celery, onion, chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices. Stir in 3 cups of water.

Cover tightly, and heat over high heat until pressure is achieved. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and release the pressure.

Step 4 – Make the Soup

Add the lentils, tomato paste mixture, and 2 liters of water to the stock.

Set aside. Cover the pot and heat the soup over high heat until pressure is achieved. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking.

Cook the soup on pressure for 30 minutes. Release the pressure, and add the rice/vermicelli. Cover, and cook with pressure for an additional 15 minutes.

Simmer the soup, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes or until the rice/vermicelli is plump and cooked.

Step 5 – Thicken the Soup

While the soup is cooking, make a tedouira (soup thickener) by mixing together the 1 cup of flour with 2 cups of water. Set the mixture aside, and stir or whisk it occasionally. The flour will eventually blend with the water. If the mixture is not smooth when you're ready to use it, pass it through a sieve to remove balls.

Once the rice/vermicelli has cooked, taste the soup for seasoning. Add salt or pepper if desired.

Bring the soup to a full simmer. Slowly — and in a thin stream — pour in the flour mixture. Stir constantly and keep the soup simmering so the flour doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Simmer the thickened soup, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes to cook off the taste of the flour. Remove the soup from the heat.