Lunch and Dinner, Main Dishes, Middle Eastern Recipes, Ramadan, Sides and Appetizers, Soups

Moroccan Harira Soup Recipe

a warm bowl of delicious chickpea and beef soup served with lemon wedges and fresh parsley

Moroccan Harira soup is a staple across Middle Eastern and North African households. This zesty and delicious Moroccan lentil and chickpea with beef soup is super delicious. It is the perfect way to have a light dinner or side dish.

Although this dish originates from beloved Morocco, it found its way through the hearts of the others. The levant, the gulf, and other parts of the world love it too. Authentic Moroccan harria is usually made with either beef, lamb or chicken pieces. However, you could totally make Moroccan harira soup vegetarian or vegan as well.

This soup is has flavors of beautiful aromatics like ginger and cinnamon. It’s the perfect dish to break your fast with during Ramadan. In Morocco, they typically make it year round, but most enjoy the soup during Ramadan.

If you want more soups to break your fast with this Ramadan, try this Shorbat Adas (Lentil soup) or my Freekeh soup recipes. Both are great options to break your fast with!

Moroccan chickpea soup served with lemon wedges and fresh parsley
The perfect way to break your fast.

Moroccan Harira Soup and Why is it called that?

Harira (pronounced as ha-ree-raa) comes from the Arabic root word “harir” which means silk. This is often in reference to added elements to the soup that give it a creamy, silky taste. In most cases, it’s either beaten eggs or a mixture of flour and water.

Moroccan Harira soup is a tomato based soup, and for convenience, I like using tomato sauce rather than blended fresh tomatoes. The soup is packed full of flavors with onions, celery, parsley and/or cilantro.

Those flavors mixed with pepper, cinnamon and ginger leaves you with a super comforting and warm soup. Traditionally, you make the soup with either lamb, beef or chicken cubes. You can also omit them all for a vegetarian/vegan harira soup.

Each Moroccan family makes the soup differently. Some add lentils only, some add vermicelli, while others add a mix of grains and vermicelli. In today’s recipe I opted to make it with both lentils and rice for a delicious combination.

Although I typically enjoy breaking my fast on very light soups, something similar to chicken noodle soup, my family and I loved this Moroccan Harira soup recipe that we will definitely be putting it in our dinner rotations for Ramadan. It’s quickly become a favorite among the adults and children alike! It’s that good!

two bowls of Harira soup recipe made up of a handful of ingredients served with lemon and parsley
The best kinds of soup are the ones full of flavor, like this one.

Tips and Tricks

Alternatively, you can choose to blend them with the tomato sauce in a blender for a blended and smooth sauce. However, I don’t recommend this because the chopped texture that the veggies add to the soup is great.

I prefer using beef to lamb or chicken, since lamb can have a gamey smell and chicken is the least traditional protein of choice. You want to really get all the beef cubes seared so they get a nice color and great flavor. This can also take anywhere from five to ten minutes.

You can use all parsley and no cilantro, or you can mix the amounts to your liking.

The key to a flavorful Harira Soup is the spice blend. Use a combination of ground ginger, ground turmeric, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, paprika, and a pinch of saffron threads to add depth and warmth to the soup.

Begin by sautéing onions, garlic, and celery in olive oil or butter until they become soft and fragrant. This step helps to build the base flavors of the soup.

Harira Soup tastes even better when it’s allowed to simmer for a longer period. Let the soup cook on low heat for at least 1-2 hours to let the flavors meld together.

Just before serving, squeeze fresh lemon juice into the soup. The tanginess of the lemon complements the spices and brightens the flavors of the dish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I freeze Harira Soup?

You can, but I only recommend doing it without any vermicelli or rice. Those will make the soup become too mushy and the texture might be off. You also will need to thin the soup out with some water or broth after freezing.

Does the soup need to have beef or meat?

Not at all! You can make vegan harira soup by simply omitting the beef or animal protein, and adding more lentils to the soup to make it more hearty.

How do you store leftover harira?

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, using an airtight container for 3-4 days. However, you might need to add water or broth to thin it out when you want to reheat it.

Is the soup spicy?

Not at all. It has a delicious flavor profile, but you can add either cayenne pepper to make it spicy or some harissa paste.

Moroccan Harira soup with lamb served with lemon wedges and fresh parsley
Don’t forget the a squeeze of lemon juice for the ultimate zesty flavor.


Beef or lamb chunks

Yellow Onion

Extra virgin olive oil

Tomato sauce

Canned chickpeas


Tomato paste

Basmati rice or vermicelli

Brown lentils

Hot water


Seasoning: black pepper, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, turmeric, bullion powder, and salt

a warm bowl of delicious chickpea and beef soup served with lemon wedges and fresh parsley
A big bowl of comfort

How to Make Harira Soup

First, soak the dried brown lentils in boiling water. The key here is to make sure you use boiling water so the lentils soften within 30 minutes.

Second, chop all the vegetables you’re using finely. The onion and celery especially need to be chopped finely to ensure they melt into the soup rather than finding big chunks.

Then, sauté the onions in the olive oil until they get really soft, almost caramelized. This can take five to fifteen minutes, but it’s worth the time and effort. Now, add in the beef chunks, make sure they’re cut up small so they do not take long to cook.

Once the beef is all seared, add the celery and sauté for a few minutes, until softened. When they are all softened, add in the soaked and drained lentils. Mix those well, then add the drained and rinsed chickpeas.

Now is the time to add all your seasonings. Mix everything together well so you can move on to the next step.

After that, add the finely chopped parsley and cilantro.

Next, dissolve the tomato paste into the water. Whisk well so there aren’t any clumps. Add it to the pot along with the tomato sauce and mix again.

Let it come to a boil, then simmer until fully cooked. Add the washed rice or the vermicelli, then cover and cook for 15 more minutes until soft and plump.

Finally, mix the flour and water together until no longer lumpy and drizzle into the soup. Now you are ready to serve with some lemon wedges and more parsley.

Other Recipes to Try:

Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Freekeh Soup Recipe

Fattoush Salad

Ruz Bukhari

Lentil Soup (Shorbet Adas)

Authentic Saudi Kabsa

Kubbeh Recipe

Musakhan Rolls

Molokhia Soup

If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok and YouTube.

a warm bowl of delicious chickpea and beef soup served with lemon wedges and fresh parsley

Moroccan Harira Soup Recipe

Moroccan Harira Soup is a staple in the Middle East, especially during the month of Ramadan. It's savory, zesty, and absolutely hearty and delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern, Moroccan
Servings 8


  • ½ pounds beef or lamb chunks cut small
  • 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce 1 can
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro or to taste, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons basmati rice or vermicelli
  • 3 tablespoons brown lentils soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes.
  • 5 cups hot water
  • ¼ cup celery finely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ tablespoons ground ginger
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon bullion powder


  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • Soak the lentils in boiling water for 30 minutes. Wash the rice if using.
  • Add the olive oil to a pot, and heat it until sizzling. Add the chopped onions. Saute for 2 minutes, then add the beef chunks.
  • Saute until the beef is browned, about 10-12 minutes. Mix every so often so nothing burns. Add the finely chopped celery and saute for another 3-5 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the drained chickpeas, drained lentils and mix. Add the chopped parsley, cilantro and the spices and mix again.
  • Dissolve the tomato paste in the 5 cups of water and add to the pot along with the tomato sauce.
  • Let it come to a boil for about 5 minutes before lowering the heat to low and covering. Let it cook for 30-40 minutes before adding in the rice or the vermicelli. Let it cook for another 10 minutes or until the rice or vermicelli are plump and soft.
  • Mix the flour and water until well combined and not lumpy and drizzle it in the soup. Mix for a few minutes, and serve with some more parsley or cilantro and lemon wedges.


1.) You can omit the beef and make it vegetarian. You could add more lentils to make it more protein packed and thicker. 
2.) Depending on how big you cut your beef and what kind of beef you used, it may take longer or shorter to cook and be tender. Keep an eye out. 
3.) You can add a combination of lentils, rice, and vermicelli, or use just 1. It’s a preference. 
Keyword harira soup, moroccan harira, moroccan soup, Ramadan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

3 thoughts on “Moroccan Harira Soup Recipe

  1. Tasleema says:

    5 stars
    JazakAllah khayr for this divine recipe. I made today for iftar and it turned out delicious Alhamdulillah. As always, very reliable, accurate, easy to follow and scrumptious recipes Alhamdulillah, jazakAllah khayr sister Fatimah ❤️❤️❤️

  2. Khatija Omer says:

    InshaAllah will be making this for iftar. Can I check what is the serving suggestion is for the above recipe.

    1. Fatimah says:

      Hello, it’s for 2-3 people

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