This hearty, comforting soup is traditionally served as a central part of the breakfast meal during the holy month of Ramadan. It is normally accompanied by dates and shebbakiya
100 grams dried chickpeas 100 grams dried broad beans 100 grams dried green lentils 100 grams uncooked rice
60 millilitres olive oil
50 grams vermicelli
2 tablespoons flour
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 small red onion, quartered
1 1⁄2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon smen (or ghee, or any other clarified butter)
1 beef stock cube (or make your own beef stock from beef bones and use 500 millilitres)
3⁄4 teaspoon each: turmeric, paprika, ground ginger, cinnamon
A large bunch of parsley and coriander Salt and pepper, to taste
In a blender, blitz half of the parsley and coriander with the red onion, tomatoes, and 750 millilitres of water until very finely blended. Add to a very large pot with chickpeas, broad beans (fava beans), and lentils. Cook altogether over high heat for 20 minutes, then add the spices, beef stock (cubed or homemade) and olive oil. Cover and cook over high heat for half an hour.
Meanwhile, rinse out the blender and then throw in the tomato paste, flour, and 500 millilitres of water. Blitz until combined. Set aside.
Uncover the soup pot, and add the rice and another 600 millilitres of water. Continue cooking over high heat for another 15 minutes before adding vermicelli. Cook for another 30 minutes, then add the tomato paste/ flour/water mixture while stirring.
Chop the remaining parsley and coriander, and toss in with salt and pepper to taste. Throw in the smen, and give the harira a good stir. Serve warm.
Extras (use one or all):
• Roasted shredded chicken breast
• Roast beef, cut into bite-size pieces
• Egg (After adding the tomato paste/flour/ water mixture, whisk an egg in a bowl and pour into the soup slowly as you use your other hand to stir. Let it bubble for a minute or two to let the egg cook through.)