Pic of Vegetarian Harira (Traditional Moroccan soup)

Vegetarian Harira (Traditional Moroccan soup)

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Vegetarian mains

Vegetarian Harira (Traditional Moroccan soup)

Serves 4 50 min
A nourishing meal in a bowl. This is a vegetarian (and vegan) version of the traditional North African dish which is served all year round but is often used to break the Ramadan fast. Traditional recipes vary by region, including meat, lentils or chickpeas and varying degrees of citrus flavour. They can be pretty elaborate, but here we've simplified the cooking and used lots of store cupboard ingredients while keeping the essentials of celery, pulses, ginger, saffron and tomatoes. Caramelise the lemons and serve them separately, so each person can add extra sweet citrus flavour to their own taste.


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 3-4 cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • pinch ground cayenne or paprika
  • pinch saffron threads
  • 450g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1.2 litre veg stock
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 40 min
  • Step 1

    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and celery and fry gently for 8 minutes. Add the ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne and saffron. Stir for 1 minute.
  • Step 2

    Add the potatoes, stock and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are just cooked. Add the chickpeas and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and coriander. Season to taste.
  • Step 3

    Cut the lemons in half and sprinkle over a little of the sugar on each cut half. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy based frying pan. Add the lemons, cut side down. Fry until they are just caramelised. Serve the soup with the caramelised lemons on the side.

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