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Friday, October 16, 2009

Mi's Harira Soup

This is one of my favorite soups. Yuuuuuummmmm...!!!! This recipe is an adaptation of the original Harira soup which is made with lamb and some very thin noodles. But today I am using chicken and more grains instead: lentils, garbanzos and brown rice. The spice combination is fragrant and delicious. The saffron tops it with the ultimate richness of flavor. I buy saffron at the Indian store, where the prices are more affordable than the regular grocery stores.

Mi’s Harira Soup
(8 servings)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ¼ pounds meat (boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes or chicken breast)
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ cup dried small red or brown lentils
2 cups chopped tomato (or 1 can unsalted diced tomatoes)
6-8 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon saffron soaked in warm water
1 can drained canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 cup cooked brown rice
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
¼ cup minced fresh parsley

Juice of 1/2 fresh lime or ¼ cup

Heat oil in a large stock pot oven over high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook 5 minutes. Move onion and garlic mix to one side of the pan and add meat; cook 5 minutes or until slightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add ginger; cinnamon, cayenne and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in tomato paste, lentils, chopped tomato; cook 1 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in water or broth, saffron, bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
Stir in chickpeas and brown rice, bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in cilantro, parsley and lime juice; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.


  1. Miriam - Tonight I made this soup for my family and I think it's the probably the BEST soup I've ever had! I am a vegetarian, so I ate it without the chicken and it was fantastic. My 11-month old liked it, my husband ate two bowls and my picky 11-year-old ate an entire bowl (which is rare!; they all had it with the chicken in it. Thank you so much for this blog!

    I hope you're well....

    -Shelley (#2)

  2. Hi Shelley, no wonder this is one of my favorite soups! It's so delicious. I am happy I helped you in the kitchen! I thought the #2 was funny... :)