Oct 23, 2012

Harira With Chicken

Harira With Chicken

I’m a big fan of Moroccan cuisine, and make no exception for Harira—the traditional tomato and lentil soup of Morocco. Harira is quite a rich soup but can also be eaten as a starter. During Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, Harira is served to break the daily fast.

There are endless variations to this recipe and each family has its own version. The sky is the limit when it comes to this soul-warming soup. Replace the chicken with lamb, beef, or even ground beef, to create a whole new dimension. Harira also lends itself very well to adaption by a creative vegetarian or vegan cook.

Don’t let the long list of ingredients I used intimidate you—you can always simplify it, right?—and don’t be afraid to give this hearty, warming, and filling soup your very own spin.

 

Harira:

2 free-range chicken legs
2 stalks of celery
1/2 cup chick peas (soaked overnight)
1/2 cup red lentils (soaked overnight)
1 chicken bouillon cube
thumb size piece fresh ginger
1 medium carrot
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
1 big tomato
1/2 small pumpkin
1 large potato
2 tsp harissa (more if you like it spicy)
1 tbsp ras el hanout
1/8 tsp cinnamon
large pinch saffron
2/3 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sweet paprika powder
small can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp lemon juice
8 cups water
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil

 

Herbed oil:

2 oz celery leaves
1 oz flat-leaf parsley
1 small garlic clove
4 tbsp oil

 

Directions:

I soaked my lentils and chickpeas overnight. If you’re not adding pumpkin and potato, feel free to use more.
Harira With Chicken

I coarsely cut up the carrot, onion, and celery stalks and I peeled the garlic.
Harira With Chicken

 
Use your food processor or blender because we really want to turn this into a vegetable puree.
 

Combine the vegetable, add a deseeded tomato, 1 tbsp oil, grated ginger and lemon juice.
Harira With Chicken

Add the saffron threads.
Harira With Chicken

The bouillon cube, ras el hanout, cumin, pepper, harissa, cinnamon and blitz.
Harira With Chicken

Granted, it doesn’t look all too good like this.
Harira With Chicken

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, heat the butter in a large soup pot and quickly brown the chicken on both sides.
Harira With Chicken

Add the vegetable puree and cook this, along with the chicken, for 5 to 7 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Harira With Chicken

Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute to sweeten it up.
Harira With Chicken

Pour in the diced tomatoes and water and sprinkle in the salt, turmeric and paprika powder.
Harira With Chicken

 
Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 60 minutes.
 

Gives you plenty time for this beauty.
Harira With Chicken

Peel (half) the pumpkin, remove the seeds and cube it.
Harira With Chicken

Rinse and drain the soaked chickpeas and red lentils one last time.
Harira

After 60 minutes you remove the chicken to a plate and let it cool off a little.
Harira With Chicken

Add the pumpkin, chickpeas, and lentils to the soup.
Harira With Chicken

Peel, dice and cube the large potato and add it to the soup as well.
Harira With Chicken

 
Let the soup simmer for another 30 minutes. Until the vegetables are tender and the soup has thickened.
 

Remove as much chicken meat from the bones as you can.
Harira With Chicken

In a food processor or blender you combine the parsley and celery leaves with the garlic and oil and you blitz.
Harira With Chicken

 
Traditionally you also add cilantro to Harira. Because I think cilantro is from the devil, I don’t. Can’t stand the scent and flavor.
 

After 30 minutes, you stir the soup well, it should be getting nice and thick and you add the chicken.
Harira With Chicken

 
Give the soup 15 more minutes over low heat. Check the seasoning, you’ll probably have to add more salt and maybe some extra harissa.
 

Garnish each bowl with the herbed oil and serve with Smida, Moroccan semolina flatbread. Gorgeous, isn’t it?
Harira With Chicken

Harira With Chicken
Ingredients
    2 free-range chicken legs
    2 stalks of celery
    1/2 cup chick peas (soaked overnight)
    1/2 cup red lentils (soaked overnight)
    1 chicken bouillon cube
    thumb size piece fresh ginger
    1 medium carrot
    1 large onion
    2 garlic cloves
    1 big tomato
    1/2 small pumpkin
    1 large potato
    2 tsp harissa (recipe can be found at blog)
    1 tbsp ras el hanout (recipe can be found at blog)
    1/8 tsp cinnamon
    large pinch saffron
    2/3 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp turmeric
    1 tsp sweet paprika powder
    small can tomato paste
    1 can diced tomatoes
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    8 cups water
    2 tbsp butter
    1 tbsp oil

    Herbed oil:

    2 oz celery leaves
    1 oz flat-leaf parsley
    1 small garlic clove
    4 tbsp oil

Directions
    I soaked my lentils and chickpeas overnight. If you’re not adding pumpkin and potato, feel free to use more. Coarsely cut up the carrot, stalks of celery, onion and peel the garlic. Transfer it to your food processor or blender and add a deseeded tomato, 1 tbsp oil, grated ginger and lemon juice. Add the saffron threads, the bouillon cube, ras el hanout, cumin, pepper, harissa, cinnamon and blitz until you have a puree.

    Season the chicken with salt and pepper, heat the butter in a large soup pot and quickly brown the chicken on both sides. Add the vegetable puree and cook this, along with the chicken, for 5 to 7 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute to sweeten it up and pour in the diced tomatoes and water and sprinkle in the salt, turmeric and paprika powder. Bring to a boil and simmer for 60 minutes.

    Peel (half) the pumpkin, remove the seeds and cube it. Peel and cube a large potato. Rinse and drain the soaked chickpeas and red lentils one last time. After 60 minutes you transfer the chicken to a plate, and add the pumpkin and potato cubes along with the lentils and chickpeas. Let the soup simmer for another 30 minutes. Until the vegetables are tender and the soup has thickened.

    Remove as much chicken meat from the bones as you can. In a food processor or blender you combine the parsley and celery leaves with the garlic and oil and you blitz. After 30 minutes, you stir the soup well, it should be getting nice and thick and you add the chicken. Give the soup 15 more minutes over low heat. Check the seasoning, you’ll probably have to add more salt and maybe some extra harissa.

    Garnish each bowl with the herbed oil and serve with Smida, Moroccan semolina flatbread.

Meal type: Starter, Soup
Servings: 6
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