Harira : Moroccan Soup (Healthy Ramadan 2015)

Here’s day two in my mission to come up with healthy Ramadan recipes. Today I made harira, a Moroccan soup with lentils and chickpeas. It’s absolutely wonderful. It was my first time trying it, but since I love soups, this will definitely be part of my future menus. 


Soups are great for breaking the fast. They contain lots of water and nutritious veggies. This harira has chickpeas, lentils, veggies, and if you want, meat for added protein. 


My first attempt with a Moroccan dish was pretty successful, and I’m excited to share it with you. Harira is traditionally served for the iftar meal and it makes a filling, hearty, and healthy way to end a fast.


This recipe that I used had cinnamon and nutmeg for a nutty flavor, and paprika and cumin for a little smoky flavor. The chickpeas and lentils made this a whole meal for me! Interestingly, the recipe I followed used both cilantro and parsley, whereas the cuisines I normally cook use either cilantro (Pakistani, mainly) OR parsley (Mediterranean).
I served the soup with some sweet potato fries (recipe here) sprinkled with cumin and paprika. Yum. We were satisfied with this meal, and I hope you incorporate it into one of your iftars too.  Read on for the recipe!


Moroccan Harira Soup

4 servings

Moroccan Harira Soup


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 Serrano pepper, chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/3 cup whole green lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1/2 can garbanzo beans or chickpeas
  • Optional: meat like lamb shoulder or boneless chicken thighs
  • Optional: 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat a soup pot with oil, add the grated onion and fry until most water disappears.
  2. Add the celery and the salt, continue cooking until soft.
  3. Mix in the cilantro, parsley, garlic, and Serrano pepper. The ingredients should be like a paste now, quickly stir fry for a few minutes, then add the spices.
  4. Mix it all well, then add the chopped tomatoes and cook until soft.
  5. Add the canned tomatoes, lentils, and vegetable stock. Bring to boil then cover and lower heat to low. Cook until lentils are done. (took me about 35 minutes).
  6. Add the garbanzo beans and cook for a few minutes more. Garnish with cilantro and parsley and serve.


If adding meat, brown the meat first and take it out of pot before frying the onion. And the meat back in with the lentils and adjust cooking time so the meat is fork-tender. Some regions of Morocco also whisk in one egg at the end of the cooking process. I recommend chopping everything using a food processor. I used my Ninja food processor, it cut the prep time in half.  This was not a spicy soup. If you prefer it spicy, add in 1/2 tsp red chili powder or cayenne pepper. Serve with pita bread, a light rice dish, or on its own for a nutritious and filling meal. Enjoy!

For yesterday’s post, Green Smoothie, click here.
Check back tomorrow for my next healthy recipe, Nutting Cinnamon Oatmeal 

This entry was posted in soup.


Leave a Reply