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Harira Express | Quick North African Soup

This quick cooking Ramadan soup can be on the table in 15 minutes!

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

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 Ramadan is just a few days away. I've been busy trying to prepping for Ramadan cleaning the house, pre-buying what I'll need at least for the first week, planning menus and pre-prepping dishes and in general making everything more inviting. Doing this now for the past 6 years has made my Ramadan as a wife and mother easier giving me more time for worship and acts of charity.

During Ramadan in Algeria, much like many other Muslim countries soups are a nourishing and omnipresent dish on the iftar table. Soups are easy to throw together in a pot, requiring not much attention and are so deliciously filling. I have previously posted several soups we often enjoy during Ramadan like this Egyptian lentil soup, this Algerian red soup using handrolled vermicelli, Chourba Beïda, this  Harira from Oran or even this Chourba Express.

For this recipe, I made a video. I started a cooking channel on YouTube a few months ago but unfortunately being a mother of 5 and the poor Internet connection doesn't allow me the time to always post there. But enchAllah took a look, I do post recipe videos and helpful tips. Here is the link for the soup video here.

I'll be doing a soup recipe round up in the next few days so stay tuned for that!

For this recipe, I have used a pressure cooker to cut down on the cooking time. You could prepare this soup in a slow cooker, tadjine, Earthware clay pot or even any cast iron pot. The cooking time will be longer. 

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So let's get started with the recipe.


soup  | serves about 6-8

 Quick version of a North African favourite soup  

‣ 2 carrots
‣ 2 courgettes/zuchinni
‣ chunk of pumpkin or butternut squash
‣ 2 large white potatoes 
‣ about 1 cup red lentils
‣ generous handful of parsley 
‣ 3 cloves of garlic
‣ 1 bay leaf
‣ spring of thyme
‣ 2 tsp Ras el Hanount
‣ 1 tsp ground cumin, cinnamon
‣ salt, black pepper, olive oil, stock

To serve: lemon, fresh herbs, olive oil 

1. Peel all vegetables and herbs, cut into large pieces. In a pressure cooker.

2. Secure the lid and cook for about 8 minutes.

3. Remove the lid safely using the natural release method and strain out the bay leaf and thyme. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or puree in a blender in batches.

4. Add in the ground meat and vermicelli, allowing to cook for about 5 minutes.

Serve with lemon, olive oil and more herbs. 

    ⇝ This soup can be stored in the fridge for 3 days. Or frozen for up to one month. Gently reheat on the stove to serve.

    ⇝ You could add some precooked chickpeas when you add the ground meats if you like for more protein.

    ⇝ You can replace the Jerusalem artichokes for the potatoes for a low carb, paleo option and omit the vermicelli.
     ⇝ You could omit the meat for a vegan option.


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        Serve this delicious soup with a freshly baked homemade bread like this one made with the Blessed Seed nigella or this one made with olives.

        Or alternatively, browse through the recipe index to get inspired.

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