Harira, spicy soup from Northern Africa


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 2 large red onions chopped fine
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped fine
  • 3 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp cumin powder
  • 1,5 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp Isot pepper ( Urfa flakes) (or regular black pepper)
  • ½ tsp chili flakes (pull biber)
  • 3 medium large carrots cleaned and cut in small pieces 
  • 1.5 ltr unsalted vegetable stock
  • A thumb of fresh ginger cut into small pieces
  • 2 red chilipepers in small rings
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 5 celery sticks cut small
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 150 gr. green lentils  (optional orange lentils)
  • Can of chickpeas (250 gr.) rinsed and drained
  • Package of sieved tomatoes 500 gr. (Passata Pomedori)
  • 5 saffron threads
  • Pinch of fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Pepper and salt to taste


Start with cleaning and cutting of all the vegetables. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Fry the onion and garlic until the onion starts to soften, taking care that the garlic does not burn, so keep stirring. Add the chilipeppers and ginger and stirfry for 2/3 minutes. Add all the dry spices (cinnamon, cumin, isotpepper, turmeric, chili flakes) and give it a stir. Add the vegetable stock and the passate pomodori and stir again. Accordingly add all the cut vegetables and the lentils. Bring to boil and let simmer for 20 minutes with the lid closed until the vegetables have turned soft. Rinse and drain the chickpeas with fresh water, add them to the soup together with the saffron threads, a pinch of cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to simmer for 10 more minutes without the lid this time. 

Serve with a pinch of lemon juice and fresh cilantro leaves.


  • serves 6- 8
  • prep time 45 minutes