Harira

A Moroccan inspired harira recipe, made in a pressure cooker. The spicy soup is made by combining the likes of chickpeas, lamb, warm spices and long grain rice.

The Pressure Cooker Cookbook
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Introduction

I have lost count of the number of times I have made this soup. I first came across it in one of the Two Fat Ladies’ books, years before I became interested in Moroccan food, and I have always come back to it, as for me, the combinations of different textures are just right. My recipe is based upon their version, but I have just changed the spice mix a little. If you want to make this soup quickly, use pre-cooked chickpeas.

Ingredients

115g dried chickpeas (or 400g tin of cooked chickpeas)
1 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
350g lamb, preferably neck fillet or shoulder, cut into 3cm cubes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 l chicken stock
A generous pinch of saffron
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
55g long-grain rice
2 red peppers, skinned, seeded and cut into thick strips
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
If cooking chickpeas:
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Essential kit

You will need a pressure cooker.

Instructions

If you need to cook your chickpeas, do this first. Put them in the pressure cooker with a bay leaf and ½ teaspoon of salt. Add water to the halfway mark, pour in the vegetable oil and close the lid. Bring to high pressure and cook for 20 minutes if soaked, 32 minutes if not. Allow to drop pressure naturally.

Heat the oil and butter in the base of the pressure cooker. Add the onion and sauté until starting to soften, then turn up the heat a little, add the lamb and brown on all sides. Add the garlic and spices and fry for a couple of minutes more. Pour over the chicken stock, season with salt and pepper, then close the lid. Bring to high pressure, cook for 15 minutes, then fast release.

Put the saffron in 2 tablespoons of warm water to infuse, then add this to the pressure cooker along with the tomatoes, rice and cooked chickpeas. Close the lid, bring to high pressure again and cook for a further 5 minutes. Allow to release pressure naturally, then add the red peppers and lemon juice. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes and top up with a little water or stock if you feel it needs it. Serve sprinkled with the parsley.

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