Moroccan harira & chicken soup

Moroccan harira & chicken soup

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(26 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 4 - 5

This North African-inspired soup is flavoured with harissa and spices. Serve with hummus toasts and cooling yogurt

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving (5)

  • kcal316
  • fat14g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs28g
  • sugars17g
  • fibre7g
  • protein22g
  • salt1.6g
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  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 leek, washed and finely sliced



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 4 fat celery sticks, chopped into small pieces



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 3 large carrots, chopped into small pieces



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 big parsnips, peeled and chopped into small pieces



    The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise – it looks…

  • small pack coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves reserved to serve
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp harissa (we used Belazu)



    This hot, aromatic paste made from chilli and assorted spices and herbs is spicy and…

  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 chicken stock cubes, crumbled
  • 85g raw green lentils



    The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…

  • zest and juice 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • natural yogurt, toast and hummus, to serve


  1. Heat half the oil in a frying pan, season the thighs and brown really well on both sides. Remove to a plate. Tip a mug of water into the pan and simmer, scraping up all the browned bits. Tip this liquid into a measuring jug for later.

  2. Put the remaining oil, the vegetables and coriander stalks in a big saucepan. Gently cook until the veg is softened – about 5 mins. Stir in the spices, turn up the heat, and cook for a few mins. Stir in the harissa, followed by the tomatoes, the chicken, stock cubes and lentils. Top up your jug of chickeny juices to 500ml with water, then add this, too. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 mins.

  3. Lift the chicken from the soup and shred finely using a couple of forks. Return to the soup with the lemon zest and juice, sugar, and season to taste. Ladle into bowls with a dollop of yogurt and the coriander leaves, and serve with toast, spread with hummus and drizzled with oil.

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Comments, questions and tips

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29th Apr, 2019
Delighted how this turned out, very tasty and comforting. Served with rice, yogurt and pita bread.
22nd May, 2018
Fantastic! I like less chicken and more broth.
Sarah Cunningham's picture
Sarah Cunningham
27th Feb, 2018
Delicious - initially though it served way more than 4, but then we both had seconds.... Totally agree that the lemon juice is utterly vital - used extra chicken, threw in an extra sweet potatoe as short on parsnips and served with rice as I’m gluten free - nom nom nom
5th Dec, 2017
I love this recipe and have altered it slightly to use up the leftover roast chicken. I also blitz most of the veg before adding in the chicken. The result is more a stewy broth than a soup, but equally delicious.
8th Sep, 2017
I make this dish regularly and we love serving it scooped up with toasted pittas spread with plain houmous. I find you have to chop the carrot and parsnip into very small dice or it takes too long to cook. I use a tin of ready cooked puy lentils (drained & rinsed) instead of the raw green lentils & it works really well. The lemon really lifts the flavours so don't leave it out. I don't think it freezes very well as it goes mushy and loses all the spiciness.
30th May, 2016
I made this soup and it was delicious and so plentiful I was able to feed four and freeze half. Added chilli for extra zap and a carton of chick peas. Served with flatbreads, olives and grilled halloumi.
21st Jun, 2015
To make as a stew, fry diced meat in heaped tablespoon plain flour and leave in chunks. Add dumplings for final 30 minutes cooking.
13th May, 2015
I made this soup recently and it was absolutely delicious! Big hit with the family :-) I do recommend to NOT leave out the lemon juice, it really lifts the flavors.
10th Mar, 2015
I make this soup alot and actually made it into more of a stew once (just less watery and more veg) and it was delicious.
26th Feb, 2014
Did this recipe for the first time yesterday... Absolutely delicious !! Added some cous cous to it since I didn't have any bread. Will be doing it again and again!!


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Sarah Cunningham's picture
Sarah Cunningham
27th Feb, 2018
Chunky! You can easily bubble off a bit of the sauce and serve this as a delicious dish with seasoned rice - double the harrisa to make it closer to a ‘curry’. Particularly good if your chicken comes in packs of 6 not 4 - just embrace the thickness!
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