Hey There, Hot Stuff

Heat up your cold nights with Harira — a rich and satisfying Moroccan chickpea soup.


Photo by Leah Lizarondo
 

Valentine’s Day might be over, but the love doesn’t have to end. In fact, the embers should have been stoked, and this soup is perfect for keeping the fire going.

Traditionally served after Ramadan to break the fast, I think Harira (or Moroccan Chickpea Soup) is the sexiest soup ever. That’s right. I suppose all the metaphors I impute to this soup are naturally subjective, but I’m confident you’ll understand once you make it.

Whenever I make this soup, I think of wild hair, heavy-lidded kohl-lined eyes, flowing fabric in burnished reds and golds, firelight, musk, and … percussions.

Maybe it’s Morocco. But definitely also the spices. There is something to be said about the counterintuitive. The spices that you use in this soup are spices you typically associate with sweet stuff — cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger together — but when used along with cayenne, turmeric and coriander, they dance together in a passionately rich and satisfying soup.

Share it with someone you love.

  Harira - Moroccan Chickpea Soup

Yield: Serves 12 I like to cook in bulk, its efficient! This soup freezes well.
 

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • cayenne to taste
  • 1 potato, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 28 oz diced or pureed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted (I use Bionaturae in bottles or Pomi in tetrapaks - here's why)
  • 6 cups good vegetable stock
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup dried lentils
     
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
     

Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium stockpot over medium-high heat.
2. Add the onions and celery and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
3. Add the spices and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
4. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, lentils, and chickpeas and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook at a gentle simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
6. Remove the lid, add the cilantro, parsley, and lemon juice and cook, uncovered for 5 minutes.
7. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Serve garnished with cilantro.

*In case you missed the link above, here’s why you should never eat canned tomatoes.

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