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Suzy Karadsheh’s Vegan Moroccan Harira Soup

This tasty lentil and chickpea soup is served in North Africa anytime of the year, but is especially associated with the month of Ramadan when it's often served to break the daily fast

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Harira soup is a hearty tomato-based Moroccan soup made with legumes like lentils and chickpeas, fresh herbs, and warm spices including turmeric, cumin and cinnamon. It is typically thickened with broken vermicelli pasta or rice. This tasty lentil and chickpea soup is served in Morocco and other parts of North Africa anytime of the year, but it is especially associated with the month of Ramadan and is served most often to break the fast. Harira, pronounced hah-ree-rah, gets its name from the Arbic word حرير or “harir,” which literally means silk, a fitting description of its velvety texture. I can’t wait for you to try it! This satisfying vegetarian soup is even better the next day, so it is the perfect make-ahead pot to feed a little crowd. I typically serve it with lemon slices and warm pita bread.

About Suzy: Suzy Karadsheh is the founder of the TheMediterraneanDish.com, the #1 website and resource for modern Mediterranean recipes and lifestyle. A true daughter of the Mediterranean, Suzy’s authentic voice, no-fuss approach, and easy recipes have helped millions of people enjoy flavor-packed meals, while seamlessly following the world’s healthiest diet–the Mediterranean diet. She is an author, creator, TV personality, and your go-to gal for a good laugh and all Mediterranean cooking (Greek, Middle Eastern, Italian…you name it). 

Suzy has been featured on ACCESS, Barron’s, Today, HuffPost, as well as Good Housekeeping, Well and Good, Food Network’s Delish, Shape, Pure Wow, The Kitchn and more. Suzy was born and raised in Port Said, Egypt and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two children, and dog Max. She loves falafel, any place by the water, and lots of family time but not in that order. Follow her @themediterraneandish on social media including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. For more of her recipes and products such as olive oils and spices, visit TheMediterraneanDish.com. Her new cookbook, The Mediterranean Dish, debuts in September. 


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Vegan Moroccan Harira Soup

Ingredients

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 14-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas
  • 7 cups vegetable stock, preferably low-sodium
  • 1/4 cup long grain rice, rinsed, or 1/4 cup broken vermicelli
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Preparation

  1. In a large Dutch Oven, heat 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Season with kosher salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly until softened.
  2. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a couple of 1 to 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, cilantro, lentils (both green and red), and chickpeas. Add a dash more kosher salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
  4. Add the broth and raise the heat. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then turn the heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes or until the legumes are fully cooked and very tender (check occasionally and plan to add more stock or water. The soup will be thick, but it should not be too thick that you cannot pour it. Make sure to adjust the salt as you add more liquid.)
  5. Stir in the rice and cook for another 15 or until the rice is fully cooked.
  6. Serve with lemon wedges.