Moroccan Harira: Lamb and Bean Soup

A whole meal in a bowl featuring hearty beans, succulent lamb and Moroccan spices combined to create a warming and substantial harira soup.

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Introduction

This Moroccan bean and lentil soup is a meal in a bowl, often served for breakfast during Ramadan to keep people going right through a day of fasting.

Serves 6-8
Easy
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 h 5 min
Total time: 1 h 20 min

Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
300–500g shoulder of lamb on the bone
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
leaves of 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
leaves of 1 small bunch coriander, finely chopped
150g brown lentils, rinsed
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g vermicelli
400g can chickpeas, drained, or 400g cooked chickpeas
30g plain flour
lemon wedges, to serve

Instructions

1. Cook the onion gently in the oil until tender and translucent. While it cooks, cut the meat from the lamb bones in 3cm (11⁄4in) cubes. Do not throw out the bones.

2. Once the onions are tender, stir in the spices, half the parsley, and half the coriander, then add the meat and bones and turn to coat evenly. Add the lentils, tomatoes, and tomato purée and season. Mix well and simmer for a few minutes, then add 1.7 litres (3 pints) of water. Leave to simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the lamb bones and add the vermicelli and chickpeas.

3. Put the flour in a small bowl with a ladleful of the cooking liquid and stir to make a smooth paste the consistency of thick cream, adding more liquid if needed. Stir this back into the soup and simmer for 3–4 minutes until it has thickened and the vermicelli is cooked.

4. Just before serving, stir in the remaining herbs and adjust the seasoning. Serve with wedges of lemon.

Can be frozen for up to three months.

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