Harira - Moroccan Soup

4.3/5 rating (45 votes)
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Serves: 4
  • Complexity: medium


  • 1 onion (grated)
  • 4.5 oz (125 grams) beef or lamb meat (cut into small cubes)
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon salt (to be adjusted during cooking), 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, a pinch of saffron (optional), and 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 small bouquet of cilantro (21 grams / 0.75 oz) - very finely chopped
  • 1 small bouquet of parsley (10 grams / 0.40 oz) - very finely chopped
  • 1/2 celery stick
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of canned chickpeas (or 1 cup of dry chickpeas soaked in water over night)
  • 1/2 cup of lentils (soaked in water for 1 hour)
  • 2 liters of water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 liters (8 cups) of water


  1. The Harira is very easy to make but has many ingredients. I would suggest to prepare all the ingredients and organize them before starting to cook.
    There are 3 main steps for making the harira: in step 1 you cook the meat and the legumes. I am using lentils and chickpeas. However, as I am using canned chickpease, I will add them to the soup at the end. If you use dried chickpeas, let them soak in water overnight, and cook them with the meat in step 1. In step 2, we add the tomato mixture. Finally, in step 3 we thicken the soup with flour. 

  2. Step 1: Cooking the Base
    On medium heat, drizzle 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in your pot. Add the grated onion, diced meat, and spices (salt, pepper, ground ginger, turmeric powder, pinch of saffron threads, and cinnamon stick).
    Brown the meat for 3 minutes.
    Add 1/2 cup of lentils and add 1 liter (4 cups) of water.
    Increase the heat to medium-high, cover the pot, and cook for 30 minutes.
    After 15 minutes of cooking, check on the meat and add another 1 liter (4 cups) of water.

  3. Step 2: Preparing / Adding the Tomato Mixture
    Boil some water and place the tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the water, let them cool down, peel them, and slice them.
    Cut 1/2 celery stick in small cubes.
    In a food processor, mix the tomatoes and celery, until you get a smooth mixture.
    After 30 minutes of cooking the meat (in step 1), we are ready for step 2.
    Add a little bit of the soup sauce to 1 tablespoon of tomato paste to dilute it. Then add the tomato paste to the soup.
    Add the tomato and celery mixture to the soup and mix.
    Add the finely chopped cilatnro and parsley to the soup.  
    Taste the soup and adjust the salt accordingly. 
    Lower the heat to medium and cook the soup, covered, for 10 minutes. 

  4. Step 3: Preparing the Thickening Flour Mixture
    After 10 minutes of cooking the soup, add 1 cup of canned chickpeas. 
    Dilute 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour in some water. Mix very well until all the flour is dissolved.
    Add the flour mixture to the soup, while stirring continuously, until the soup thickens. You many not need to use all the flour mixture, so add it little by little.
    Cook the soup for 2-3 minutes.
    Att the end, beat an egg with a fork, then add it to the soup while continuously stirring the soup. Cook for another 3 minutes before serving!  

  5. Serving:
    In Morocco we serve harira along with dates - one bite of a date, one spoon of Harira! the savory and sweet mixture is just amazing! You can also add a little bit of fresh lemon juice to the soup (individually).

    Bonne Appetit!  

Comments (16)

  • Badr


    18 July 2012 at 21:17 |
    wow tnx, very nice and easy to make. tnx.
  • ouiame


    20 July 2012 at 20:14 |
    Happy first day of ramadan :) this is gonna make my hubby so proud. thanx to you
  • mira


    25 July 2012 at 05:58 |
    This recipe looks great and I can't wait to try it! Is harira typically spicy at all? If I wanted to add spice or heat what could I use? Could I use harissa?
    • Alia


      25 July 2012 at 18:11 |
      harira is not spicy but very flavorful. you could add some spicy oil at the end or maybe add hot chili pepper when adjusting the spices. but the harissa would be weird, because it's a paste and I dont see how it would work on the soup. you can try it :-)
  • mira


    25 July 2012 at 18:31 |
    Thanks Alia! :)
  • ghali


    04 August 2012 at 16:25 |
    salam Alia, Happy Ramadan to you as well and thank you for this great recipe. I am going to try it tonight and keep you posted with the results :-)
  • Maria Cristina

    Maria Cristina

    06 August 2012 at 16:49 |
    Asalamu Aleykum Alia!!!
    I just wanna thank you sooo much for this recipe, it is just delicious and very easy to make.
    I am from Venezuela and I had never eaten a soup like this before. Thanks!
    • Alia


      06 August 2012 at 19:51 |
      so glad you liked it Maria!
  • Yukiko Isaka

    Yukiko Isaka

    09 December 2012 at 06:55 |
    Thank you for the lovely recipe/vodeo Alia!
    I'm on the step 2 now.
    Wish my very first Harira soupe turns nice n delicious

    15:55 / 9, Dec, 2012 Tokyo
    • Alia


      12 December 2012 at 05:35 |
      how did it go? :-)
  • Sharon Mahmoudi

    Sharon Mahmoudi

    26 January 2013 at 18:12 |
    As salaamu alaikum Alia,
    Very happy to see a Hirira recipe that doesn't call for any pasta. I will either use spelt flour or leave out the flour, but otherwise this recipe is completely wheat-free. :) Baraaki Allahu feeki.
  • ムーレイメフディ サミー

    ムーレイメフディ サミー

    21 June 2013 at 23:58 |
    Thank you so much Alia.
  • Maliha Uddin

    Maliha Uddin

    13 July 2013 at 15:20 |
    Do we have to use the egg at the end, can it be optional. Cant wait to try this !! X
    • Alia


      19 July 2013 at 16:15 |
      it's optional.
  • Brook El Hachmi

    Brook El Hachmi

    11 November 2013 at 06:08 |
    Thank you so much for this recipe Alia!! My hub is from Morocco and this soup really makes him feel at home! We add vermicelli to it and boil some eggs to serve with it as they do in his city with some lemon wedges! AWESOME!!! I go to your recipes for everything Moroccan to get it right! Thanks for all the work you do!!!
  • Ashley Venable

    Ashley Venable

    09 December 2014 at 00:32 |
    thank you so much alia. i married a moroccan man and you have helped me acheive a very delicious menu for him. hes so happy to have all the sishes from his home!!

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