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ANTI-INFLAMMATORY HARIRA SOUP

Detox your body Gain energy Gut health Lose weight Recipes
Asmaa Lahlou image
Asmaa Lahlou

March 17, 2024
Harira, the beloved Moroccan soup, goes beyond mere comfort food—it's a powerhouse of nutrition and healing. This hearty dish boasts a symphony of ingredients that not only tantalize the taste buds but also pack a punch when it comes to health benefits.

Harira a soup that loves you back

At its core, harira soup features a blend of anti-inflammatory and detoxifying ingredients. Turmeric and ginger, with their potent compounds, lead the charge, supported by coriander, parsley, celery, and tomato, rich in lycopene. These ingredients not only lend vibrant flavors but also offer a plethora of health benefits, from fighting inflammation to supporting detoxification pathways in the body.

The addition of lemon not only brightens the flavor but also provides a hefty dose of vitamin C and alkalizing minerals, promoting overall health and well-being. The inclusion of bone broth further enhances the soup’s nutritional profile, supporting gut health and providing a rich source of collagen and easily absorbable amino acids and minerals.

In a nod to balance, this recipe strikes a perfect harmony between plant and animal proteins. Alongside the meat, it features lentils, chickpeas, and wholegrain rice, ensuring a diverse array of protein sources for optimal nutrition.

How can we replace the traditional white flour to ticken the Harira

To top it off, this recipe skips the traditional white wheat flour in favor of a mixed vegetable puree. This substitution not only increases the fiber content but also gives the intestines a much-needed break from modern wheat, which is richer in glutenand amylopectin A than more ancient varieties. This small change can have a significant impact, reducing the risk of inflammation and intestinal permeability, and contributing to overall gut health.

Whether served during Ramadan or as a wholesome meal any time of year, this revitalizing harira soup offers not just sustenance but a true celebration of health and flavor. If you are looking for other Ramadan healthy treats, check-out our Sellou recipe, it’s a true Moroccan super Bowl!

How to cook it

I don’t recommend using a pressure cooker, as some studies suggest that pressure cooking can lead to the formation of compounds like acrylamide, heterocyclic amines in certain foods, nitrosamines in proteins, which are carcinogenic,especially when cooking at high temperatures. Simmering on the stove, like for the traditional stockpot method. 

To reduce the anti-nutrients in lentils, chickpeas, rice, make sure to soak overnight.Regarding rice, I found a brand of soaked and sprouted wholegrain rice, that I like. Try it out or any other similar brand you can find.

Harira Recipe – serves 10

Ingredients

  • 1.5L bone broth
  • 1-1.5L filtered water (depending on how thick you like your soup)
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grass-fed ghee
  • 1 large onion, grated or finely diced
  • 250g lamb, goat or beef, cut into small cubes
  • 50g dry chickpeas (pre-soak overnight)
  • 2 celery stalk with leaves, finely chopped
  • 20g finely chopped fresh parsley 
  • 20g finely chopped fresh coriander
  • a good pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp unrefined salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 350g vegetables to thicken the soup (e.g. 1 carrot, 1 courgette, 1 potato)
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and pureed
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste, mixed into a glass of water
  • 25g wholegrain rice (pre-soak overnight)
  • 50g dry green lentils (pre-soak overnight)

Garnish

  • Coarsely chopped fresh coriander
  • Lemon wedges

To prepare Harira, follow these steps:

  1. In a large stew pot, add bone broth, water, meat, soaked & rinsed chickpeas, chopped celery & herbs, spices and the vegetables that will thicken the soup later on (peeled but whole).
  2. Put on medium-high heat until the first boil then lower the heat and cook for 50 minutes (covered)
  3. Remove the vegetable that should be cooked by now. Puree with some water and add back to the pot.
  4. Add the tomato (peeled, seeded and pureed) and tomato paste. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
  5. Rinse the wholegrain rice and add to the pot, stir well and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
  6. Rince the lentils and add to the pot, stir well and continue cooking for 20minutes.
  7. Taste, make sure all ingredients are cooked & adjust seasoning and water for thickness.
  8. Serve in large bowls and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and some lemon juice or a wedge of lemon.

Allergy info: Celery

Notes:

  • I recommend to soak and sprout your legumes and grains in order to reduce the phytic acid and enzyme-inhibitors present in them.
  • Soaking makes them easier to digest as enzyme-inhibitors are reduced and allows for better mineral absorption as the phytic acid that binds into the minerals is deactivated.
  • If you have a more sensitive gut or an imbalance in your gut flora (microbiome), I would recommend you peel the soaked chickpeas to reduce the fiber that could generate more gas and bloating. Fiber is amazing for our detoxification and gut health but it’s not appropriate in high amounts in some situations, take a free consultation with me if you want to discuss your personal situation.
  • If you liked this anti-inflammatory harira soup and you are looking for more nutritious Ramadan recipes, check out our roasted vegetable crumble, anti-inflammatory pudding and detox grain-free spicy stir fry.

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