February 5, 2010

Friday Feast: Moroccan Harira Bean Soup

One of my favorite cookbooks is Twelve Months of Monastery Soups, written by Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette, a Benedictine Monk.
I've probably cooked my way though that book over the last 10 years, but one of my favorites is the Harira, which is traditionally served at Ramadan to break the daily fast. It's also eaten year-round, like in our house.

Please excuse the half-eaten nature of the Harira in the photos. I forgot to take a picture BEFORE chowing down.
Don't be intimidated by the number of ingredients. It's mostly beans, that require little preparation.

Vegetarian Harira adapted from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight (or canned)
  • 1/2 cup lima beans, soaked overnight (or canned)
  • 1/2 cup black beans, soaked overnight (or canned)
  • 1/2 cup red kidney beans, soaked overnight (or canned)
  • 1/2 cup lentils, soaked overnight (or canned)
  • 1/2 cup split peas (preferably yellow), soaked overnight (or canned)
  • 1/2 cup white navy beans, soaked overnight (or canned)
  • 12 cups vegetable stock (or water)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 16-oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 8 leaves fresh mint, chopped
  • pinch of cayenne
  • large pinch of paprika
  • 1 cup vermicelli noodles, crushed
  • thin lemon slices and chopped parsley for garnish
Simmer the beans in a large soup pot along with the vegetable stock for 1 1/2-2 hours. Add onions, tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, and lemon juice, stirring well. Cover the pot, and bring the soup to a boil, and cook until beans are soft. Add noodles, salt, pepper, mint, parsley, cayenne and paprika, and cook another 5 minutes until the noodles are done. Garnish with lemon and parsley. Enjoy!Head over to Momtrends for more Friday Food posts and to link-up your culinary delights.


  1. I thought it looked yummy but Roo wasn't into it... hmmph!

  2. Yummy!! That is a book I'll have to look into getting :)

  3. That sounds really hearty and healthy. I think I'd actually LOVE that soup!


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