• Cooking Time:
  • Servings: 8
  • Preparation Time:



  • 1 cup whole dried fava beans - (1/2 lb)
  • Water as needed
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 2 tbl olive oil
  • 2 onions minced
  • 2 lb lamb shoulder chops cut in 1" cubes
  • 8 Spanish saffron threads crushed
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 10 tomatoes - (to 12, abt 3 lbs) peeled, seeded
  • 30 parsley sprigs
  • 15 cilantro sprigs
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup crushed vermicelli see * Note
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  • * Note: Substitute orzo or the tiny soup pasta called acini di pepe for the crushed vermicelli, if you prefer.
  • Rinse and pick over fava beans, then soak overnight in water to cover. To quick-soak: Place beans in large soup pot and add 10 cups hot water and 1 bay leaf.
  • Bring water to a rolling boil for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and soak beans for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The older the beans, the longer they will take to cook. Squeeze each fava bean between your thumb and forefinger to remove skin. Set beans aside.
  • Soak lentils for 1 hour in cold water and drain.
  • In large soup pot over medium-high heat, heat oil and fry onions and meat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add saffron, turmeric, ginger and 8 cups water. Cover and bring to rolling boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, add fava beans and cook, covered, until beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on age of beans.
  • Coarsely chop together tomatoes, parsley and cilantro sprigs.
  • Add tomato mixture, lentils, pepper, cinnamon and salt to taste.
  • Cover and cook until lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil for pasta. Add pasta and cook until soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and stir into soup. Taste and add salt to taste and adjust pepper.
  • When soup is heated through, ladle harira into individual soup bowls. Top with chopped cilantro and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Categories: African  Main Dish 

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