Monday, March 24, 2008

March 24, 2008: Harira

This month's recipe from our World in Your Kitchen calendar comes from exotic Morocco and also entails some distant deja vu. Back in October 2006, we sampled harira for the first time and fell for its complex flavours and nourishing beans. We've not been particularly inspired to create new and nutritious dinners for a few weeks, so our bodies needed this as much as our taste buds did.

The calendar's recipe is quite similar to our previous rendition, but I'll include it anyway. If you've an appetite for more spicy soups, take a look at the most recent round-up of the No Croutons Required blog event, where every entry is a bowl full of punchy vegetarian goodness.

Harira (bean soup)

400g can chickpeas, drained
400g can haricot or other beans, drained
800g can crushed tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
a pinch of saffron threads soaked in a little warm water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
500-1000mL water or stock
juice of a lemon
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon harissa or chilli powder
1 tablespoon flour
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, combine the beans, tomatoes, onion, saffron with water, turmeric, cinnamon, ground coriander and some pepper. Add half of the fresh coriander and parsley. Add enough water or stock to completely cover the mixture. Bring it to the boil, and then simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Remove a little of the liquid from the saucepan and mix the flour into it, then stir the flour back into the soup. Cook the soup for a further 5 minutes.

Just before serving, stir through the harissa/chilli powder, lemon juice and season to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the remaining herbs.


  1. Glad to hear you enjoyed this soup. I have a recipe for this that is just waiting for the right moment this autumn or winter to try out - as i've said before I'm a huge soup fan & practically live on the stuff in the colder months

  2. Yes, Ange, the perfect time for soup is upon us! I hope you enjoy your harira. :-)