Gabrielle’s Harira (Moroccan soup)

Name: Gabrielle Swinkels
Class Year: 1984
Country of Residence: Netherlands

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

My husband hunts and regularly supplies us with beautiful roe deer. Since I don’t want to waste the leftover parts of the animal I always make stock out of the deer’s bones, for stews and soups like these:

A tasty, warm bowl of comfort food, made of your leftover vegetables and fridge stock and bringing back memories of the beautiful Moroccan landscape and people …

Use for this recipe the ingredients that you have in stock. You can leave out or add greens to your taste. Same goes for spices and herbs: use to your liking.

Gabrielle’s Harira

Serves 4. Takes approx. 1 hour


  • onion, finely chopped
  • stalk celery, chopped
  • carrots, chopped
  • can of chickpeas
  • lentils (canned lentils or dried red lentils)
  • (sweet) potato, chopped
  • flat leaf parsely, finely chopped AND stems finely chopped (always use these tasty stems!)
  • bunch of cilantro
  • 1 or 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • salt, black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Ras el Hanout (Moroccan traditional mix of spices), or: 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp coriander
  • wild broth (preferably meat broth from venison), but you can use any strong bouillon from a good quality cube, or make a veggie version with good quality vegetable stock (cube)
  • If available: ½ preserved lemon (do not chop!) – you can buy these in Moroccan foodstores


  1. brown the chopped onion, parsley stems, carrots, celery and (sweet) potato lightly in olive oil. Add the spices and bake lightly.
  2. then add canned tomatoes, broth and/or water to make a thick soup. If you like, add stock cube. Also add now the lentils if you use dried lentils. Cook/simmer for +/- 20 min.
  3. Then add canned chickpeas and canned lentils, also add the ½ preserved lemon. Add pepper and salt to taste.
  4. leave to simmer for another 20 minutes, but don’t overcook the chick peas and lentils; ingredients should not loose their ‘bite’.

Serve in a big bowl with a dash of fine olive oil and/or a scoop of Greek yoghurt, and chopped parsley and cilantro.

Serve with (Moroccan) flat bread or french baguette


Own invention, but inspired by Moroccan kitchen experienced while travelling through Morocco

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