Member recipe

Harrira (Morrocan Soup)

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Cooking time

Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 4 hours

Skill level



Serves 8

This is a recipe for a national soup of Morocco traditionally prepared during the 30 fasting days of Ramadan. In Morocco the perfume of harrira permeates the streets long before sunset when, at the sound of a cannon, the daily fast can be broken

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  • Chick Peas 50g
  • Butter Beans 50g
  • Black eyed Beans 50g
  • Kidney Beans 50g
  • Green Lentils 50g
  • Yellow Split Peas 50g
  • Green Haricot Beans 50g
  • Tin Tomatoes (peeled) 400g
  • Onions (coarsely chopped) 225g
  • Black Pepper ¼ tsp
  • Turmeric 1 tsp
  • Powdered Ginger ½ tsp
  • Cinnamon 1 tsp
  • Juice of ½ Lemon
  • Salt 1 tsp or to taste
  • Flour 1½ tablespoon
  • Corriander or Parsley 1 large bunch (finely chopped)
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint finely chopped or 2 tsp dried mint
  • Paprka 1 tsp
  • A good pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Tiny Pasta shapes or Rice 50g (optional)


  1. Wash Pulses as necessary. Put the first two ingredients in a large saucepan with plenty of cold water. Bring to the boil, simmer for 2 minutes. Turn of the heat and leave to soak for an hour.. Then drain the beans and put them back in the saucepan with 1.1 litres (2 pints) of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1½ hours (or use a Pressure Cooker for 35 minutes at 15lbs pressure).

  2. Add the rest of the pulses, onions, tomatoes (chopped up with their juice), pepper, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and lemon but not the salt (or the beans will take longer to cook). Boil for 10 minutes and then simmer for an hour. Add the salt when the beans are tender and another litre of water (or vegetable stock). Taste.

  3. Add 3 dessert spoons of cold and mix to a paste. water to the flour. Mix in a few ladles full of the broth and pour this back into the harrira, stirring vigorously. Continue stirring until the soup is bubbling and has thickened without leaving any lumps. The flour gives the soup a texture that the Moroccans call "velvety" and which they usually achieve by stirring in leavened dough from making bread. Simmer the soup until the beans are soft.

  4. Add the herbs, paprika and cayenne and, if you like, the pasta or rice and cook for about 15 minutes until these are done. Add more water or vegetable stock if the soup is too thick.

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12th May, 2017
If freezing the recipe, leave steps 3 and 4 until you're ready to serve