Harira is the traditional Maghreb soup (Morocco and Algeria). It is usually eaten during dinner in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to break the fasting day. It is considered as a meal in itself. It is also served to relatives and friends after a special celebration, such as the morning after a wedding night, and its recipe varies then slightly from the harira eaten during Ramadan. Of course, it could be prepared any time, however, some families prefer to stick to tradition and serve it on special occasions.
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup drained canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 2 cups chopped tomato
- 1/2 cup dried small red or brown lentils
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup hot cooked angel hair (about 1 ounce uncooked pasta)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Sprinkle the lamb with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add lamb; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add onion; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in water, chickpeas, cinnamon, and ground red pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
- Stir in tomato, lentils, and bell pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in pasta, cilantro, and juice; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.