Harira (middle-eastern soup)

There is plenty of this Middle Eastern soup to go around and with juicy lamb and spicy vegetables you'll certainly be needing every bit.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 5 mins cooking
  • Serves 8
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Harira (middle-eastern soup)
  • 1 cup (200g) dried chickpeas
  • 20 gram butter
  • 2 medium (300g) brown onions, chopped finely
  • 2 (200g) trimmed celery stalks, chopped finely
  • 2 clove garlic crushed
  • 4cm piece (20g) fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch saffron threads
  • 500 gram diced lamb
  • 3 large (750g) tomatoes, seeded chopped coarsely
  • 8 cup (2 litres) hot water
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown lentils
  • 2 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (100g) white long-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • coriander leaves, to garnish


Harira (middle-eastern soup)
  • 1
    Place chickpeas in a medium-size bowl and cover with water; cover with a towel and leave overnight, drain. Rinse chickpeas under cold water and drain.
  • 2
    Heat butter in a large saucepan; cook the onion, celery, and garlic on medium heat, stirring, for about 3-4 minutes, or until onion softens. Add ginger, cinnamon, pepper and saffron; cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the lamb; cook, stirring, for about 5-10 minutes, or until meat is browned.
  • 3
    Add the chickpeas and tomato; cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until tomato softens.
  • 4
    Stir in water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Add the lentils; simmer, covered, for a further 1 hour.
  • 5
    In a small bowl, blend flour with ½ cup of the slightly cooled cooking liquid. Stir into the lamb mixture with the rice. Cook, stirring, for about 2-4 minutes, or until mixture boils and thickens. (This soup can be made ahead to this stage. Remove saucepan from stove, cover, allow to cool and refrigerate overnight).
  • 6
    Stir coriander and lemon juice into soup just before serving. Garnish each bowl with extra coriander leaves, if desired.


This hearty soup can be made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight.

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