Harira is a Moroccan spiced legume and vegetable soup which is usually made with lamb or lamb stock, but this is my vegan version for a lighter more everyday soup that is easy to whip up especially since it has so many pantry staples. I love how hearty and bright this soup is, with the edition of the fresh lemon juice that I finish it off with. It’s a great main soup, which is how we eat it in my house.
I have included canned chickpeas in this version but if you had dried chickpeas, just soak them overnight before cooking and add them with the lentils at the beginning of the cooking process.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
3 celery stocks, finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped (I use a microplane grater for this)
pinch ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tablespoons harissa paste- can substitute with 2 teaspoons chili flakes- plus more or garnish
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup french lentils
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
10 cups water
1 lemon, juiced- plus lemon slices for garnish
fresh cilantro or fresh parsley for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot heat up the 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Add in the chopped carrots, celery and onions. Season with salt and pepper and saute on medium until onions are translucent around 5 minutes. Add in the turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and harissa and mix well. Add in the tomato paste and mix. Stir in the dried lentils and season again with salt and pepper. Make sure to coat the lentils in all the spices and vegetable mixture. Add in the can of tomatoes and mix well. Add in the 10 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and turn down the heat to medium. Let simmer on medium heat for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are al dente. When the lentils are almost cooked add in the drained chickpeas. Mix in and check for seasoning. Cook for another 15 minutes. Before adding in the lemon juice, check for seasoning. Need to season well!
Before serving add in the fresh lemon juice. Pour into a bowl and garnish with more harissa and fresh herbs.