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Harira

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This traditional Moroccan soup, often made with lamb, is usually served during Ramadan at the end of a day of fasting. This vegetarian version is finished with a dollop of harissa, a spicy North African sauce, which adds flavor and punch. Served with whole-grain bread, harira makes a great light meal. A salad of shredded carrots topped with a sprinkling of currants adds color to the meal and complements the Middle Eastern flavors.

MAKE AHEAD: Complete Step 1. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you’re ready cook, continue with the recipe.

Works best in a large (minimum 5-quart) slow cooker

Vegan Friendly

If you prefer, you can use 1 cup (250 ml) dried chickpeas, soaked, cooked and drained (see Basic Beans), instead of the canned chickpeas.

Serves6

Cooking Methodslow cooking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 4 hours

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, healthy, high fiber, kosher, lactose-free, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipmentcrock pot

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Textureherby, hot & spicy, savory, spiced

Type of Dishhot soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) grated lemon zest
  • ½ tsp ( 2 ml) cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 ml) diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 4 cups (1 L)  vegetable or chicken stock (store-bought or see recipes)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 can (14 to 19 oz/398 to 540 ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed (see Notes)
  • ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley
  •  Harissa

Instructions

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add celery and onions; cook, stirring, until celery is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, turmeric, lemon zest and peppercorns; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

Stir in stock, lentils and chickpeas. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, until mixture is hot and bubbly and lentils are tender. Stir in parsley.

Ladle into bowls and pass the harissa at the table.

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