Vegetarian Harira 6.000

Shulie Madnick

Sep 24, 2014

This soup is typically made with lamb, beef or chicken, but this version is quite hearty.

Flour is typically added to the soup as a thickening agent, in some cases in a roux, but not here. Using cooked vermicelli keeps the pasta from becoming mushy (if it was cooked in the soup); the dish works well without it.

Make Ahead: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen (in small batches) for several months.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings; makes 13 cups

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large celery ribs, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup plain tomato sauce
  • Packed 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • Packed 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • About 2 1/2 cups canned, no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained (from two 15-ounce cans)
  • 4 to 5 cups water
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, or more as needed
  • 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooked vermicelli noodles, for serving (optional)
  • 1 large lemon, cut into wedges, for serving


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery and garlic; cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables have softened and the onion is on its way to translucent, then stir in the tomato. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the tomato sauce, cilantro, parsley, lentils and chickpeas, stirring to incorporate.

Pour in 4 cups of the water; add the salt, cumin (to taste), turmeric and pepper (to taste), stirring to mix well. Increase the heat to medium-high; once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. If it seems too thick, add some or all of the remaining cup of water. Cover and cook for about 50 minutes or until the lentils are tender and silky, stirring occasionally. Taste, and add salt as needed.

Serve hot, with warm vermicelli noodles, if using, and lemon wedges.

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Recipe Source

From Shulie Madnick, who blogs at

Tested by Helen Horton.

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