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Recipe: Harira Soup from Orange Blossom and Honey

There are so many things about Morocco that we wish we could have over here (weather features pretty high, c’mon we’re British after all) but the things that top them all – the flavours.

With this recipe from John Gregory-Smith’s new book Orange Blossom & Honey you get that Moroccan flavour hit you’ve been craving.

John says: “Traditionally cooked to break the fast during Ramadan, these days this thick soup is cooked all the time all over the country, and eaten as a light lunch or quick snack before dinner. The particular flavours and ingredients vary regionally, but generally it is made with chickpeas and a carbohydrate such as potatoes. The soup probably has its origins in a semolina-based dish eaten by the Berbers in the High Atlas. The tomatoes would have been added with the advent of New World foods. My version is vegetarian, using chickpeas, rice and lentils. For a pop of freshness, I add a walnut gremolata at the end.”

Harira Soup Recipe:

 

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WRITTEN By:
Maria Bell

Maria Bell is Khoollect's Deputy Editor. Talk to me about food and/or photography and I'll always be listening.

READ MORE BY Maria Bell

ingredients

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

8 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped

3 celery sticks, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

400g tin chopped tomatoes

4 tablespoons tomato purée

400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

 

80g basmati rice

200g green lentils

A handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves

A handful of coriander leaves

1 litre vegetable stock

Zest a juice of 1 lemon

50g walnuts

Sea salt

 

Image: Martin Poole.

1.

Begin by toasting the cumin seeds to bring out the flavour. Place a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and reduce the heat to low. Toast the seeds, shaking the pan occasionally, for 3 – 3 ½ minutes. Cool, then grind into a fine powder.

2.

Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a large casserole over a medium heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 – 12 minutes or until soft and sticky. Add the garlic, mix well, and cook for 10 seconds until fragrant. Add the toasted cumin, along with the ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and turmeric, and a big pinch of salt. Mix well and cook for a few seconds until the aroma of the spices fills your kitchen.

3.

Tip the tomatoes and tomato purée into the pan. Add the chickpeas, rice and lentils, half the herbs and pour over the stock. Mix well. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the rice cooked. Check the seasoning and add half the lemon juice. Mix together.

4.

Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over a medium heat and toast the walnuts for 5 – 6 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, to intensify their flavours. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Tip into a food processor and add the remaining flat-leaf parsley and coriander. Blend until fine. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Pour in the remaining oil and add the lemon zest and the remaining juice. Season with a good pinch of salt and mix well.

5.

Serve the soup in bowls with some of the walnut gremolata spooned on top.

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