Harira soup – lamb, vegetable and spice soup
This Moroccan harira soup is packed full of goodness. Loads of vegetables, lentils and sweet lamb pack a great punch with the added spices. Topped off with rich, creamy yogurt, chopped fresh coriander and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice. You are going to be one happy winter bunny!
We always, always make the biggest pot and Harira soup freezes like a dream.
Best made on a dreary snowbound or bleak, wet day when you have the time to attend to the simmering pot. Gently stirring as each layer is added you will be rewarded with a flavour packed, nourishing bowl of wholesome, sustaining and warming comfort.
Many soups start with a flavour base of onion, carrot and celery. Add to this base warming chilli , garlic and sweet subtle leek and youʼre on the right track to delicious.
Lamb can be expensive and weʼve discovered meaty forequarter bones. These lend tender sweet flesh for a fraction of the price of shanks. Simmered for a couple of hours they render sweet, juicy lamb that adds oodles of flavour to the soup.
Root vegetables such as onion, parsnip, carrot and leek along with celery form a flavour base that adds masses of flavour.These vegetables are generally quite cheap throughout the cold winter months.
Dried red lentils are so ultra healthy, cheap and fibre packed that they ‘thickenʼ the soup to make it a really comforting generous mouthful.
Letʼs not forget our friends in the can…..chickpeas and tomatoes, perfect for speed and ease.
The flavours of warming spices add a depth to the harira that otherwise puts it into the lamb and vegetable soup range. Ground cumin and coriander add a particular balance that is so easy and accelerates the flavours of all ingredients.
Sweet potato and parsnip introduces an added freshness to the Harira, while adding the zucchini and cilantro just before serving keeps everything fresh. If you donʼt like cilantro just add fresh parsley. Yogurt and fresh lemon juice add a real zing to the soup as a final addition.
Whatʼs your go to soup that satisfies on cold, bleak days that youʼd rather stay in your track dacks and generally just blob at home?
This warming delicious harira soup hails from Morocco. Hearty and nutritious it’s just the perfect soup for when the weather turns bleak.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 pounds (1 kg) lamb forequarter bones
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 4 fat cloves of garlic chopped finely
- 1 rib of celery diced
- 1 leek sliced
- 2 red chilli – seeds optional
- 1 medium parsnip diced
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon each of turmeric, ground ginger, salt and smoked paprika
- 3 litres water
- 1 tin 14 oz/400g diced tomatoes
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 3 small sweet potatoes 12 oz / 350 g in total
- 1 tin chickpeas drained
- 2 medium zucchini diced
- fresh lemon
- 1/2 cup chopped coriander
- brown lamb pieces over medium to high heat till browned
- remove lamb from pan and add onion, carrot, celery, parsnip, chilli and garlic
- stir over medium heat till vegetables soften – about 5 minutes
- add cumin, ground coriander, salt, turmeric, ground ginger and smoked paprika
- stir spices through vegetables over medium heat for 2-3 minutes
- return lamb to pan and add cold water
- bring to boil, then simmer gently for around 2 hours or until meat is tender
- remove cooked lamb from pan and chop meat into small pieces
- add meat back to pan and add tomatoes, lentils and sweet potato
- cook on simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender
- add zucchini and chickpeas and cook for a further 10 minutes
- serve with chopped coriander, a good dollop of yogurt and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
- soup freezes well.
- if you can’t buy lamb forequarter bones use 2 lamb shanks