Lamb and Chickpea Soup with Lentils

Rich and soothing soups like this one are famous in Morocco. Muslims traditionally eat them to break their daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan. Usually thickened with flour or rice, these hariras are also often served as supper throughout the year. It is a smart idea to make a double batch because although hariras are very good the day you make them, they are exceptional the next day, after the flavors have melded.

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  • Servings: 6

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  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped, or one 28-ounce can peeled Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
  • 1 large Spanish onion, coarsely grated
  • 1 pound well-trimmed boneless lamb leg, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • One 19-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup brown or green lentils (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup rice
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large, heavy pot, combine the water, tomatoes, onion, lamb, chickpeas, lentils, olive oil, tomato paste and cumin and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Add the rice and simmer for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk 1 cup of the soup into the flour, then whisk the slurry into the soup and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes longer. Stir in the parsley and cilantro, season the soup with salt and pepper and serve.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Serve With

Warm pita bread.

Published March 2005

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