Good evening Raffies!
Welcome to Algeria.
We are going to make Harira, a traditional North African soup. The key to it is, patience.
As I had school tonight, I prepared everything for this soup before leaving for school and left it simmering on the stove while I was gone (my husband was home, so no problem with fires).
It might not look like much, but it was so incredibly flavourful and delicious that I brought the leftovers with me as lunch the following day. I’ll have to make it again, definitely!
This recipe is a traditional Northern African dish, mostly consumed during the month of Ramadan, for it is a very rich stew.
To me, it is a perfect dinner when it is cold and wet outside. It warms you from within and if you sip some hot Moroccan mint tea with it, you’ll feel much better after a long day.
For this recipe, I have used the one on my homemade book, but this recipe is very similar to the one I have.
Remember, when making harira, be sure to start early, for it will have to cook for a few hours.
400 g lamb meat with bone (the bone enhances the broth’s flavour)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Ras El Hanout
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tbsp butter
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 to 2 cans chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup green lentils
1 can chickpeas, drained
enough water (7 cups or more)
1 cup vermicelli (alternatively you can use 1 cup of rice)
ground black pepper
Lemon and coriander to garnish
Start with a big soup casserole. Melt the butter in it and add the onion. Stir fry until translucent. Add the celery and the meat and fry for a couple of minutes. Add all the spices and stir. Fry for about 5 minutes. Now add the canned tomatoes and the tomato puree. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Now cover with water, put a lid on and simmer for 2 hours. If you use dried chickpeas and lentils, add them here, otherwise proceed.
Keep an eye on the soup every now and then. Give it a stir and add water, if needed.
Approximately 15 minutes before it is done, add the chickpeas, lentils, crushed vermicelli (or rice) and the coriander. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot and garnish with some lemon wedges and coriander leaves.