Robert Carrier’s Moroccan harira

In Morocco this soup is served as an important part of the festivities of Ramadan: it’s the traditional soup to break the fast

  • Ready in 2¾ hours, plus overnight soaking
  • Serves 8
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 381
  • fat 15g
  • saturates 8g
  • carbs 38g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 5g
  • protein 26g
  • salt 0.35g


  • 100g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 100g Puy lentils
  • 450g ready-diced lamb, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp each ground ginger, saffron strands and paprika
  • 50g butter
  • 100g long grain rice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
  • lemon quarters, to serve


  1. Tip the chickpeas and lentils into a large saucepan or flameproof casserole. Add the lamb, onion, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, saffron strands and paprika, then pour in 1.5 litres/21?2 pints water. Season.

  2. Bring to the boil, skimming all the froth from the surface as the water begins to bubble, then stir in half the butter. Turn down the heat and simmer the soup, covered, for 11?2 -2 hours until the chickpeas are tender, adding a little more water from time to time as necessary.

  3. Towards the end of the cooking time, prepare the rice. Bring 850ml/ 11?2 pints water to the boil in a saucepan, shower in the rice, the rest of the butter and salt to taste. Cook until the rice is very tender. Drain, reserving 3tbsp of the liquid.

  4. To finish, put the reserved rice liquid in a small saucepan. Stir in the coriander, parsley (hold a little back for a garnish if you like) and tomatoes, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add to the soup with the rice, and then taste for seasoning. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to thicken slightly. Serve hot, with a lemon quarter for each serving so guests can squeeze over lemon juice to taste.

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