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Harira − Moroccan Chickpea and Lamb Soup

Probably the dish that best represents Moroccan Jewish cuisine, this hearty, rich and tasty soup contains the best possible ingredients: lamb, chicken, chickpeas, lentils and rice. A complete meal − and more − in one big pot.  

Ingredients (serves 12)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) lamb (shoulder or neck), cut into bite-sized chunks

  • 3 onions, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 1/2 liters (21/2 quarts) chicken stock or water

  • 1 cup chickpeas, soaked in water overnight and drained

  • 1 cup brown lentils

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

  • Pinch of cinnamon

  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and diced

  • 12 chicken drumsticks

  • 1/2 cup rice

  • To Serve:

  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice or 1/4 lemon per diner

  • Fresh chopped parsley

  • Harissa or filfel chuma

Heat the oil in a heavy pan and brown the lamb. Transfer to a large soup pot with a slotted spoon.


Add the remaining ingredients to the soup pot except the chicken and rice. Season and cook for one hour. The result should be a tasty, spicy soup.


Add the chicken and rice and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is soft. Taste and adjust the seasoning.


Before serving, add lemon juice and parsley and serve with freshly baked white bread and a hot condiment, such as harissa or filfel chuma. 

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