Harira: Moroccan Spaghetti-O’s

20 Feb
  • Food: Harira
  • Ingredients: diced tomatoes, tomato paste, lentils, chick peas, vermicelli, flour, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, parsely, beef stock, salt and pepper
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour

We got exotic this week, and attempted to make one of Jill’s favorite dished from her study abroad trip to Morocco. We also had a special guest cook: Renee from Renee’s Kitchen! You can read her version of the events over at her blog.

Harira is a yummy tomato based-soup that actually tastes nothing like Spaghetti-O’s. It was surprisingly easy to make and turned out flavorful and filling.

Look, garnishes! We are fancy food photographers now.


Step one: open a bottle of cheap red wine. My dad taught me that you always cook best after a few drinks. We had Steeple Jack, which was a good wine for the $6.99 it cost. It was sweet enough for Jill (she prefers wine that tastes like juice) but not to sweet for me (I like real wine).

Always start with a glass of wine. This is an essential step.

The recipe doesn't call for wine. Wine is just yummy.

Once you have poured yourself a nice glass of wine, chop up three onions and sauté them with a little olive oil and parsley.

Our guest cook Renee!

Once the onions are soft, add them to a pot with two large cans of diced tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of ginger, and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Let cook for a few minutes.

Tomato mush! My favorite!

After a few minutes, add in 6 cups of water and 6 cups of broth. We used beef broth because it was all we had in the fridge, but chicken or vegetable would be fine. Add one bag of lentils, cover, and cook until the lentils are soft (about 20 minutes).

Jill is quite talented at pouring water into pots.

Starting to resemble soup!

Once the lentils have cooked, add one box of vermicelli and one can of chick peas. In a new bowl, combine 8 tablespoons of flour, 8 tablespoons of tomato paste, 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, and a bit of parsley. Add the paste to the soup. We had a bit of trouble getting our paste to melt into the soup, as you will see in the video below. If you run into the same problem, it helps to dance as you stir.

If the paste resembles raw ground beef, you've done it right.

Once we had added all the ingredients, we realized the soup tasted a bit bland. So we dumped in a ton of salt, pepper, and lemon juice and let it cook a little more. To our astonishment, it worked!


Our harira was very heavy on the noodles, because that’s how Jill likes it. If you would prefer, cut the vermicelli in half and double the lentils and chickpeas. Either way, serve the soup garnished with lemon slices and parsley and you’ve got an impressive meal!

It's almost like being in Morocco. Except not at all.


Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Dinner, Sunday meal


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Harira: Moroccan Spaghetti-O’s

  1. Rita

    February 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Jill – you actually ate this? I’m finding out new things about you! Sounds like you girls have a lot of fun cooking and dancing. lol


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