Harira – Spicy Bean Soup – One World Vegetarian Cookbook


One World Vegetarian Cookbook is one of my favorite cookbooks and this spicy bean soup is easy to make and delicious.

From the book:

\”When I was staying in Marrakesh, the diffa, or feast, comprising many course was served one night. There were several meat dishes, so I asked if I could eat only non-meat ones. They were happy for that, and charged very little–perhaps because the meat dishes were the centerpiece. This bean soup, Harira, if often made with lamb but this is a meatless version. I sometime add peas or other vegetables to use them up.


1 onion, chopped
1 can garbanzos/check peas
1 can white kidney or borlotti beans
1 can tomatoes
1/2 tsp saffron threads (You may substitute paprika or turmeric.)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 green chili, seeded and chopped or 1/4 tsp chili powder (I used both.)
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
juice of one lemon
2 quarts stock
1/2 cup rice
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper


1. Using a saucepan, gently fry the onion and then add the garbanzo/chickpeas, beans, tomatoes, saffron, cinnamon and chili/powder.
2. The put in one tablespoon of the parsley, plus the cilantro, the lemon juice and seasoning. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Now pour in the stock and then add the rice. Stir well, and boil for 10-15 minutes until the rice is soft.
4. While that is cooking, mix the flour with a little water to make a roux and stir this into the soup.
5. Adjust the seasonings, and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Serve with the remaining parsley on top.

I served this with my No Knead Rye Bread.

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