Moroccan Lentil & Tomato Soup with Pasta (Harira)
By Miri Rotkovitz
Harira is an iconic Moroccan soup made with lentils, tomatoes, and aromatic spices. Variations of this hearty, delicious soup can be found in North African and Middle Eastern Sephardic cuisine
Because it is full of protein and complex carbohydrates, harira makes an ideal pre-fast meal for erev Tishha B’Av or Yom Kippur.
Tip: If you plan to make the soup in advance, proceed with the recipe through Step 3, then cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. When you are ready to serve the soup, bring it back to a boil, add the pasta, lower the heat, and simmer until the pasta is tender.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled, trimmed, and chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 5 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- Black pepper
- 1 1/4 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup uncooked spaghetti or angel hair pasta, broken into 1-inch pieces
- 1/8 to 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (optional)
- Fresh cilantro, parsley, or basil for garnish (optional)
- Lemon wedges for serving (optional)
1. Heat the oil in a stockpot or large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute to coat with the oil. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they soften and begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for one minute longer.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook until they begin to soften and release their juices, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cinnamon, cumin, salt, and turmeric, and season with a few grinds of black pepper. Stir until the spices are well distributed throughout the onion-tomato mixture, about 30 seconds.
3. Add the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender and beginning to disintegrate, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas, if using.
4. Add the pasta and continue simmering until it is tender, about 8 minutes. Taste the soup and season with the salt if desired. (Start with 1/8 teaspoon — you can always add more if necessary.)
5. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro, parsley, or basil, if desired. Serve with lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!
mh- New York Jewish Parenting Guide