Harira Soup

Harira Soup

This Moroccan lentil soup comes from the N.Y. Times food section and is originally vegetarian.  We’ve used chicken or beef broth in the soup and added a pork meatball at the end.  But, it would certainly be delicious without these changes.   Fantastic recipe especially those warm spices on a cold winter night.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, finely diced, about 2 cups

4 garlic cloves, minced or mashed in mortar and pestle

1” piece fresh ginger, peeled, mashed

1 tsp ground black pepper or several grinds

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon crumbled saffron

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 quart canned, diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


1 cup brown lentils, rinsed

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

8 cups chicken or beef broth (or water)

Pork Dumplings

1 lb. BBF Ground Pork

2 gloves garlic, mashed in mortar and pestle

1/2″ piece of ginger, mashed

1/2 tsp salt

Black pepper

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

Finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 Egg

2 T Bread Crumbs

Place all ingredients in a bowl, combine and set aside.

For the Soup

Put olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and lightly colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, pepper, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, saffron and cinnamon. Cook for about 2 minutes more.

Add tomato and cilantro and bring to a brisk simmer. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes, until mixture thickens somewhat, then add 1 teaspoon salt, the brown & red lentils and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, covered with the lid ajar.

Let soup simmer for 30 minutes, then taste broth and adjust salt. Cook for 45 min more at a gentle simmer, until the legumes are soft and creamy. It may be necessary to add more liquid from time to time to keep soup from being too porridge-like. It should be on the thick side but with a pourable consistency.

Once lentils are soft and with the soup at a gentle simmer, drop a spoonfuls of seasoned pork into the soup.  Let the spoon and meat hit the hot soup and the meat will slide off the spoon.  Dumplings don’t have to be a perfect shape.  Once all the meat is in the soup, allow to simmer another 10 minutes to cook through.

Serve with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.