Vegetable Harira Soup Recipe

Traditional harira is a Moroccan soup of lamb, vegetables and pulses. This version omits the meat. You will need to start this recipe the day before.

Serves

6

Preparation & Cooking time:

2 hours (plus standing)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (200g) dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Large pinch saffron threads
  • 2kg (4 lbs) ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions (340g), chopped coarsely
  • 2 sticks celery (300g), trimmed, chopped coarsely
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1.25 litres (5 cups) water
  • 1 cup (200g) French-style green lentils
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander

Method

1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in a medium bowl of cold water. Drain and rinse well.

2. Soak the saffron in a small bowl with one tablespoon of water.

3. Cut a shallow cross in the base of the tomatoes; place in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water, stand for 30 seconds then drain. Remove the skins and discard; purée the flesh in a blender.

4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat; cook the onion, celery, ground spices and saffron with soaking liquid, stirring for five minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the puréed tomatoes, water and chickpeas and bring to the boil. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered for 45 minutes. Add the lentils; simmer partially covered for 45 minutes or until the lentils and chickpeas are tender. Season with salt.

5. Stir half the herbs through the soup. Divide the soup among bowls and serve topped with the remaining herbs.

Recipe taken from Superfoods by The Australian Women’s Weekly, published by Bounty Books, £17.99 (www.octopusbooks.co.uk)

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