Vegetarian harira soup
My Mum makes the most beautiful spiced red lentil soup. I shared the recipe in my first book which was re-released just a couple of months ago (super exciting). It is the soup that she has always made for us as adults whenever she thinks we have needed nourishment and nurturing. We had this soup dropped off by Mum when our babies were born and whenever bedridden and in need of a Mother’s love.
Recently, in Morocco, I enjoyed a few glorious bowls of harira soup. It reminded me a little of my Mum’s lovely soup. Similar base flavours from the spices and aromatic. I enjoyed a big bowl of this on my last day in Casablanca. I slurped up every mouthful, and it seemed to instantly nourish me. I enjoyed it along with Medjool dates and a glass of wine – not so nourishing but a fantastic way to reflect on our extraordinary tour.
Since returning home, I have created a vegetarian version of harira soup (it usually contains lamb). Might I say that I am rather pleased with the results?
This soup gets better and better the following day or two. Make a big batch and enjoy it for lunches, dinners or freeze some for later.
Vegetarian harira soup
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely diced or minced
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon Aleppo chilli flakes
150g Persian Red lentils, washed and drained
150g quinoa, rinsed very well
1 long red chilli, split through the centre and bruised gently but left in one piece
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 x 400g tin diced tomatoes
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed
1.5 litres of vegetable stock
100ml natural yoghurt **
Freshly cracked black pepper
Lemon juice, to taste
Fresh coriander & dates, to serve
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring gently for 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add the ground spices and stir over low heat. For a minute or two until quite aromatic. Be mindful they do not burn.
Add the red lentils, rinsed quinoa, fresh chilli, tomato paste & stir. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and stock. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down and cover with a lid. Cook on a gentle heat for 30-40 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt freshly cracked black pepper and lemon juice.
Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and drizzled with olive oil and garnished with coriander.
* Omit the yoghurt for this recipe to be vegan-friendly.
Like the look of the breads also? You can find the recipe here.