After spending close to two weeks in Morocco, I can confirm that there is only so much tagine and couscous a girl a can eat. If I’m being really honest, we kind of hit our quota for the Moroccan stew by about day three so had to get a little creative with our dinner choices, but there was one dish we were happy to eat all day, every day… a piping hot bowl of harira.
Harira is a traditional Moroccan soup which is popular during the winter months and after sundown during Ramadan; packed with flavour and ridiculously hearty, I can completely understand why it’s so well loved. Coming back to the brisk, near freezing temperatures of London was certainly a jolt back to reality so I thought I’d whip up my own version of a harira to keep those holiday memories alive and our bellies warm just that little bit longer!
Moroccan Harira Soup (Connie’s Version)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, trimmed and thinly chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped into roughly 1cm pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tin of whole plum tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chilli flakes, you can use more or less depending on preference
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 500mL stock, I prefer chicken stock but you can use vegetable stock too
- 1 courgette, chopped into roughly 1-2cm pieces
- 1 tin of chickpeas
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach, I throw this straight in from the freezer
- 500mL water
- 1/2 cup orzo pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh coriander to serve
In a large pot (I love using my cast iron casserole dish) heat the oil, then add the leeks, carrots, and garlic. Cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn, until the leeks are soft.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, smoked paprika, ground ginger, ground coriander, cumin, chilli flakes and brown sugar. Mix together, breaking up the tomatoes a little as you stir.
Add the stock and bring to the boil for 2-3 minutes, then add the courgettes, chickpeas, spinach, and half the water. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the vegetable are just tender.
Add the orzo and remaining water, simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the orzo is al dente. If you find the soup is a little thick, just add a bit more water to loosen everything up.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve with fresh coriander!
In Morocco, this sometimes also comes with some dates on the side… which seemed a little weird to me but works surprisingly well at the end of the dish for a little sweetness.
This is one seriously hearty and filling soup which is perfect for these winter months – it’s an easy one-pot-wonder to make, the ingredients cost next to nothing and are usually things you might already have in your pantry, and it’s ideal as a make-ahead work lunch. We think it would be equally delicious with some sausages or meatballs for an even more substantial meal for all those carnivores out there, in fact, that’s probably what we’re doing next time…
So there you go, easy on effort, time and your wallet – what’s not to love?!
If you’re after another one of my delicious, time-saving recipes or some healthy eating inspiration, pop here!