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Vegetarian Moroccan Harira Recipe

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Harira, the national soup of Morocco, is hearty tomato based soup served especially during Ramadan to break the day’s fasting.

There are several famous dishes that Morocco has become well-known for, and Moroccan food is becoming the new “it” cuisine. Among the many tagines dishes and traditional couscous is a simple tomato based soup, called harira, which is a staple on the breakfast table during Ramadan, but enjoyed year-round as well.

There are several recipes for harira based on the regions of Morocco, availability of different ingredients, and family recipes. Traditional preparations include lamb or beef, but vegetarian versions are every bit as delicious. Variations include adding rice or vermicelli, and thickening methods include an egg and lemon mixture while others use a simple flour and water slurry with tomato paste.

The secret between a decent harira and a great one is using fresh instead of canned tomatoes to make the soup. While using fresh tomatoes takes a little bit more time, the results are well worth it

Vegetarian Harira Recipe

Serves 4-6

Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes preparation, 2 hours cooking


6 tomatoes 1/4 cup lentils 1 cup chickpeas 2 onions 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon turmeric Pinch saffron 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon of celery salt 1/4 cup chopped parsley 3 tablespoons of flour 1/2 cup of water 3 tablespoons of tomato paste 2 liters of vegetable stock 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

Peel and puree the tomatoes in a blender. Dice the onion and place it in a stock pot with the butter, all the spices, and parsley. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the onions have softened, add the tomatoes, the stock cube and a little salt, and continue to cook for 10 minutes longer with the lid on the pan.

Rinse lentils and chickpeas. After ten minutes, add 2 liters of stock to the pot and the lentils and chickpeas. Bring the soup to a boil with the lid on the pan. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour and a half.

Mix 1/2 cup of water with the flour and stir until well combined. In a bowl, combine about 3-5 tablespoons of the flour and water to the tomato paste to the consistency of yogurt. After the soup has simmered for the allotted time, add the tomato paste mixture and stir well to combine. Cook the soup for 20-30 minutes longer.  When finished stir in lemon juice and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Serve harira hot with dates, crusty bread, and hard-boiled eggs as is traditionally done in Morocco.


Colin Dovey
Posted on Feb 28, 2010
Amanda Antara
Posted on Feb 25, 2010
Amanda Antara
Posted on Feb 25, 2010
Posted on Feb 25, 2010

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Amanda Antara

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