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slow cooking Moroccan
Harira Recipe-8520

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


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.

Yield: Serves 6


  • 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


1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Ladle into bowls and pass the harissa at the table.


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.

© 2008 Judith Finlayson

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information does not include Vegetable or Chicken Stock, or Harissa. For nutritional information on those recipes, please follow the links above.

266kcal (13%)
113mg (11%)
28mg (47%)
36mcg RAE (1%)
0mg (0%)
424mg (18%)
1g (3%)
4g (6%)
6mg (31%)

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