Harira (Moroccan Lamb Soup)

The following recipe was submitted by Leslie Gilbert of Mt. Airy, MD, who writes: I’m overdue writing to tell how much I enjoyed the lamb I got last year. It was wonderful. I also wanted to share this recipe because it has become my favorite soup and it’s a good use for the small kebab pieces. It freezes wonderfully. I make a batch, put it in single serving containers and freeze it. I take it to work and it’s almost thawed by lunchtime and makes the most wonderful lunch.  This soup is one that Moroccans traditionally use to break the fast every night of Ramadan. Season with salt, pepper, mint leaves and cinnamon to taste. (Prep Time: approx. 15 min. Cook Time: approx. 2 hours 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings)


  • 1 pound cubed lamb meat
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 7 cups water
  • 3/4 cup green lentils
  • 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/4 pound vermicelli pasta
  • 2 eggs, beaten [optional and I leave this out because I’m freezing it]
  • 1 lemon, juiced


Place the lamb, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, butter, celery, onion, and cilantro into a large soup pot over a low heat. Stir frequently for 5 minutes. Pour tomatoes (reserve juice) into the mixture and let simmer for 15 minutes. Pour tomato juice, 7 cups water, and the lentils into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Let soup simmer, covered, for 2 hours. About 10 minutes before serving turn the heat to medium-high, place chickpeas and noodles into the soup, let cook about 10 minutes (until noodles are al dente). Stir in lemon and eggs, let eggs cook 1 minute.

Leave a Reply