Harira (Moroccan Soup)

Harira is a Moroccan traditional soup. It is popular as a starter but is also eaten on its own as a light snack. It is mostly served during Ramadan, although made throughout the year in Morocco. The ingredients may vary, depending on regions in Morocco.

50g celery, finely chopped (apio)
8 large tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
100g red onion, finely chopped or grated
4 chicken legs
5g ground white pepper
5g ground turmeric (cúrcuma en polvo)
5g ground cinnamon (canela en polvo)
Olive oil
5g fresh ginger, grated (gengibre rallado)
30g fresh parsley, finely chopped (perejil picado)
30g fresh coriander, finely chopped (cilantro picado)
60g butter
½tsp saffron threads (soaked in half a cup of warm water) – azafrán, remojo en agua
250g cooked chickpeas (garbanzos cocidos)
300g fine noodles (fideos)

Lemon wedges
Fresh crusty bread

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and rub over the turmeric and cinnamon.  Heat the oil and seal the chicken until it’s nice and brown.  Remove and reserve.

To the remaining fat in the pan, add the onion, ginger, celery, parsley and coriander. Stir-fry, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes, butter, saffron with its water and chickpeas.  Mix well then return the chicken to the pan. Adjust the amount of spices if necessary and cover with sufficient water.

Cover and simmer over a low heat for 1 hour.  Remove the chicken, allow to cool a bit, then remove the skin and shred into bite-sized pieces with your fingers.  Return the shredded chicken to the broth and add the noodles, which shouldn’t take longer than 4-5mins.

Serve this soup with lemon wedges and crusty bread.