My first experience of Harira soup was in a souk in Fez, and it was delicious. It is traditionally served during the month of Ramadan to break the fast, it can be used as a first course or as I had it, a meal in itself.
- pinch of saffron threads
- 50 ml boiling water
- 4 chicken breasts, diced
- olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 celery sticks, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 3 dessertspoons grated fresh ginger
- 800 g tinned tomatoes
- 100 g cup lentils
- 100 g chickpeas
- ¼ cup long grain rice
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 1 lemon, juiced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch coriander, chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Infuse the saffron in the boiling water for about 2–3 minutes.
In a large saucepan, heat some olive oil, and in 2 batches seal the diced chicken then remove to one side.
Add the garlic, celery carrot and onion, and lightly brown. Now add the ginger, tomatoes, saffron, cumin, lentils, chickpeas and chicken stock, bring to boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the rice and chicken and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Season with the lemon juice, salt and pepper, then just before you serve add the coriander.