Harira is a traditional Moroccan soup eaten during the month of Ramadan to break the daily fast. This nourishing one-pot meal is also served on the morning after a wedding celebration.
There are many variations, and recipes are often passed down from generation to generation. This recipe uses the pressure cooker to speed up cooking.
- 200g raw beef, cut into ½-inch pieces
- Several soup bones (optional)
- 1-2 cubes beef broth
- ¼ cup fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1 or 2 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, grated
- 1kg tomatoes, peeled, seeded, pureed
- 1 handful dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and then peeled
- 1 tbsp smen (optional)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp turmeric powder or ¼ tsp yellow colorant
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1½ tsp pepper
- 3 cups water
- 2-3 tbsp dried lentils, picked over and washed
- 3 tbsp tomato paste, mixed evenly into 1 or 2 cups of water
- 2L water
- 2 to 3 tbsp uncooked rice, or uncooked broken vermicelli
- 1 cup flour mixed with 2 cups water (tedouira)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Make sure you have prepared all the ingredients before you begin cooking the soup. If using dried chickpeas, soak them the night before you cook.
- Into a pressure cooker, add the beef, soup bones (if using), beef broth cubes, cilantro, parsley, celery, onion, tomatoes, chickpeas, smen (if using), cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, salt, pepper. Stir in 3 cups of water.
- Cover tightly, and heat over high heat until pressure is achieved. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and release the pressure.
- Add the lentils, tomato paste mixture, and 2 liters of water to the stock.
- Set aside (but don’t add yet) either the rice or vermicelli.
- Cover the pot and heat the soup over high heat until pressure is achieved. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking.
- If adding rice: Cook the soup on pressure for 30 minutes. Release the pressure, and add the rice. Cover, and cook with pressure for an additional 15 minutes.
- If adding vermicelli: Cook the soup on pressure for 45 minutes. Release the pressure, and add the vermicelli. Simmer the soup, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes or until the vermicelli is plump and cooked.
- While the soup is cooking, make a tedouira (soup thickener) by mixing together 1 cup of flour with 2 cups of water. Set the mixture aside, and stir or whisk it occasionally. The flour will eventually blend with the water. If the mixture is not smooth when you're ready to use it, pass it through a sieve to remove lumps.
- Once the rice (or vermicelli) has cooked, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Bring the soup to a full simmer. Slowly — and in a thin stream — pour in the flour mixture. Stir constantly and keep the soup simmering so the flour doesn’t stick to the bottom. You will notice the soup beginning to thicken when you've used approximately half the flour mixture. The thickness of harira is up to you. Some like to thicken the broth so that it achieves a cream-like consistency.
- Simmer the thickened soup, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes to cook off the taste of the flour.
- Finally, add the eggs in a thin stream to the simmering soup, stirring constantly. You will see some cooked strands of eggs in the soup as it thickens. The soup is ready to serve.
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