Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Harira" Traditional Moroccan Soup

My host mom, Behia, cooking in the tiny kitchen.
     A favorite memory (or memories) from Morocco: Sitting in my host family's small apartment living room around 10 p.m, snuggled in a blanket watching some Arabic soap opera or an American chick flick in English with Arabic subtitles, eating hot harira soup. "Harira" is traditional Moroccan soup with spices and ingredients typical of North Africa. This soup was so delicious, especially when made by my wonderful host mother, and it always cured my homesickness. I felt so loved and cared for in those moments; utterly content...a true sign of hospitality. They could not speak or understand English, and I could only speak a few words of Moroccan Arabic (we were taking Arabic classes for those 6 weeks, but still my Arabic was faltering), but I tried to convey to her with the few words I knew how much I loved and appreciated her (and the rest of the family's) incredible hospitality that was particularly shown through food. 

      Here is the recipe for harira. My EMU roommate, Ana, and I asked our host mother for the recipe for harira at the end of our stay in Fez--while we managed to figure out what most of the ingredients were, because of the language barrier we could not get the measurements. So this is sort of my version:

Harira: Moroccan Soup
A variation of harira (it just has a different type of noodle, Vermicelli).

- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz. can), drained, liquid reserved
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 small onion, diced and sauteed
- 1 clove of garlic, minced, maybe two if you prefer garlicy-ness 
-1/2 t. ground ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick

-1/2 t. saffron (use Goya brand in grocery store)
- 2 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth
-3 cups water
-pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 can (15 oz.) or two cups of chickpeas
-1/2 cup vermicelli
-a cup or two of cous cous (can use Moroccan cous cous or Israeli cous cous if you prefer--Israeli is larger)

-2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
-¼ cup chopped cilantro
-2 Tbs. lemon juice
-1 Tbs. tomato paste

-Lemon wedges, for garnish

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, saffron, ginger, and cinnamon; sauté 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Stir in tomatoes, and sauté 5 minutes more.
  2. Stir in broth, chickpeas, reserved tomato liquid, and 3 cups water. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To make Tadouira: Whisk flour with 1 cup water in bowl. Whisk in cilantro, lemon juice, and tomato paste. Stir Tadouira and vermicelli into Harira, and cook 3 minutes, or until noodles are soft. Serve with lemon wedges.

This is on our last night (from left--Ana -my EMU roommate, my host mom Behia behind her, me, our neighbor Amel and her daughter Miriam.)

Recipe submitted by Alli Eanes

1 comment:

  1. Alli,
    Thanks so much for your post! This looks so good! Just email the pictures to me!