Harira is a delicious, protein-packed Moroccan soup usually served during the month of Ramadan to break the fast and also during other celebrations. It is an excellent appetizer for parties and can also be used as a healthy and filling meal.
The soup, chock-full of tomatoes, chicken, chickpeas and lentils is gently simmered for a good hour and a half in fragrant spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and turmeric. I also add a generous amount of chopped ginger and garlic. The original recipe calls for the addition of long grained rice, which I am yet to try and chicken thighs, instead of which I use chicken breasts.
Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients and the cooking time. It is very easy to make and totally worth it. You know it is good when your two year-old toddler licks his bowl clean…:)
Original recipe by Emeril Lagasse , slightly altered. Find his recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/harira-moroccan-chickpea-stew-with-chicken-and-lentils-recipe.html
1/4 pound dried chickpeas
3 tbsp olive oil
11/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced celery
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
11/2 quarts rich chicken stock
1/4 pound dried green lentils
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water. Rinse well, drain and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken pieces with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Add the chicken in batches, and cook until well browned. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Add the onions and celery and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic. Add the turmeric, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan and add the tomatoes and their juices, stirring well. Stir in the chicken stock, lentils and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Adjust the salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook at a gentle simmer for an hour and a half.
Remove the lid, add the cilantro, parsley and lemon juice and cook, covered for 5 minutes.
Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy.