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