Harira: Moroccan Tomato-Based Soup (Local Recipe)

Fatima O.

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Harira is one of my favorite Moroccan soups. Harira is a popular soup that is made with tomatoes, chickpeas, lentils, and spices.

This fragrant soup is often eaten during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as it is a hearty meal that provides sustenance during the long hours of fasting.

During my Ramadan days at home, I used to love the smell of my mom’s Harira simmering on the stove, and the way the house would fill with its warmth and aroma.

Today, I’m sharing my mom’s Harira recipe with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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What is Harira?

Harira is considered the national soup of Moroccan and it’s usually included in the top 10 dishes to try in Morocco. It’s hearty that is traditionally made with tomatoes (lots of tomatoes), chickpeas, lentils, and aromatic spices.

Moroccan Harira soup with chickpeas, lentils, and vermicelli

The soup can also include small cut pieces of meat, such as lamb or chicken. Harira is usually served as a main course in the holy month of Ramadan accompanied by Chebbakia (Moroccan fried sweets)dates.

Charcoal-grilled meat served with Moroccan Harira

Harira soup is also a year-round dish that can be served on the side with many other Moroccan dishes like pastilla, tagines, and grilled meat.

Harira health benefits

Harira is not only delicious but it is also packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer.

Chickpeas and lentils are both excellent sources of protein and fiber. Harira is also a good source of iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Harira Ingredients

Delicious Moroccan Harira in a traditional bowl

Chickpeas: They are the key ingredient in Harira. They provide thickening and creaminess to the soup but they also give Harira its distinct flavor.

Lentils: Harira would not be Harira without lentils. They also help thicken the soup and give it a nutty flavor.

Fresh herbs: Cilantro, parsley, celery, finely chopped.

Onions: Grated or processed in a food processor. This gives Harira a smooth texture.

Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are the best but you can use canned tomatoes as well.

Seasoning spices: cumin, paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper, saffron, cinnamon

Meat, chicken, or bones (optional): I like to use lamb. You can also use chicken or beef. If you are using bones make sure to remove any brown bits, as this can make the soup bitter.

Smen: Smen is a type of clarified butter that is used in Moroccan cuisine. You can use butter instead.

Tomato paste: This adds a little bit of sweetness, color, and thickness to Harira.

flour: This is used to thicken the soup. Harira should be thick, not watery.

and finally


Harira Recipe

Unlike many Harira recipes out there, my mom’s Harira recipe is pretty straightforward and not too complicated. The ingredients are simple and easy to find.


Enjoy your Moroccan Harira soup with some bread on the side. It can be eaten as a main meal or as a starter. Harira is also a great soup to break the fast during Ramadan.

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About Fatima O.

Fatima, born and raised along the foothills of the Atlas mountains, in the heartland of the indigenous Amazigh peoples. She loves Moroccan tea and travel. Now, she travels and writes about the beauty of her homeland.

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