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Classic Rich Moroccan Harira Soup

3.5 from 2 votes
Oshrit Abergil – @oshritabergil
This rich, classic Moroccan harira soup has been a Yom Kippur staple for hundreds of years. Now it’s time you make it too.
Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :2 hours 50 minutes
Total Time :3 hours
Servings: 6


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-5 celery stalks and leaves, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • cups green lentils
  • 1 cup chickpeas, soaked in water for 10 hours
  • 1 pound/450 grams beef shank/chuck, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup thin noodles, cut into smaller parts
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

For serving:

  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lemon slices


  • Sauté the onion until golden brown, add the tomatoes and meat, and continue sautéing for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the carrot, chickpeas, tomato paste, lentils, celery, and spices, and sauté for about 3 minutes. Pour boiling water until fully covered and bring the soup to a boil for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce to medium heat and cook for an hour and a half, stirring occasionally.
  • Increase the heat, add the noodles, cook for 10 minutes, add chopped cilantro, and turn off the heat. Let the soup rest for 10 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon and serve.


If you prefer a very thick soup: Mix 1 tablespoon of flour with ¼ cup of water, add to the pot, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.


moroccan harira soup recipe
Credit: Oshrit Abergil

What is the meaning of harira?

Harira holds cultural significance and gastronomic value in North African cuisine, particularly in Morocco. It refers to a traditional, hearty soup often consumed during special occasions and as a staple during Ramadan. Harira typically consists of a flavorful blend of ingredients, including tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and various spices. This nourishing soup represents not only a delicious and comforting dish but also symbolizes a sense of togetherness, hospitality, and tradition in Moroccan and broader Maghreb culture. Its preparation and consumption are deeply intertwined with regional customs and celebrations, making it a culinary emblem of the region.

What can I use as a substitute for chickpeas or lentils in this Moroccan harira soup?

You can use beans like kidney beans, navy beans, or black beans as they offer a similar texture and protein content. Split peas, mung beans, or even edamame can be suitable replacements. For a different twist, consider using quinoa or bulgur for added nutrition.

Can I use ground meat instead of cubed meat?

Yes, ground meat can be used in harira soup for a different texture. Just brown it with the onions and spices for added flavor.

moroccan harira soup recipe
Credit: Oshrit Abergil

Can I make the soup in advance and freeze it?

Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags. Ensure you remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. When ready to enjoy, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.

moroccan harira soup recipe
Credit: Oshrit Abergil

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