Harira is the classic moroccan soup, hearty and satisfying. In the month of Ramadan, harira served with dates is the traditional dish for breaking the fast. As the sun sets, almost everyone sits down to a bowl.
-1/2 cup dried lentils
-2 cups water
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup finely chopped onion
-3 tbsp olive oil
-three tomatoes, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup parsley, 1/2 cup celery leaves and stalks - pureed in a blender or food processor
-1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-2 tbsp flour
Cook the lentils in two cups of water until soft.
Saute onions in olive oil in a large heavy pot, until transparent. Add spices and pureed tomato mixture, stir well. Pour in the cooked lentils with the cooking liquid. Add four more cups of water, and bring to a boil. Whisk the flour with 1/2 cup water, and gradually stir into soup mixture. Bring back to the boil, and add the chickpeas. Lower heat to simmer and let soup cook approx. 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice before serving. Check salt to taste. Sprinkle with finely chopped cilantro, and drizzle with olive oil when serving.