Chef Mourad Lahlou’s Harira
Recipe adapted from Mourad: New Moroccan, Artisan, 2011.
Combine the following:
1 ½ tsp salt
½ T ground cumin
½ T ground coriander
½ tsp ground white pepper
¾ tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp saffron threads
6 Medjool dates
Extra virgin olive oil
Remove pit from each date. Cut in ½ lengthwise and then cut each half into 4 strips each. Roll each strip into a ball and keep covered in olive oil.
¾ cup green lentils, rinsed
Place lentils in 3 cups water, bring to a boil and simmer 10 to 12 minutes, rinse and keep in cold water unti ready to use.
½ bunch celery, diced into 1/8 inch dice (to make ½ cup)
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T minced flat leaf parsley
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 cup tomato paste
4 qts plus ½ cup water
1 bunch cilantro (discard tough stems)
½ bunch flat leaf parsley
¾ pounds yellow onions—cut into chunks and processed into a mush in food processor
½ bunch celery, leaves only
3 T all purpose flour
1 cup warm water
1/16 tsp active dry yeast
1 ½ T lemon juice
- Put tomato paste and 3 ½ qts water in stockpot over high heat. Whisk, then when boiling, reduce to gentle boil and cook for an hour, or reduced by ¼. (Take off heat if onions not yet ready.)
- Process together the onion mush, herbs and celery leaves, adding water if necessary, until almost liquefied.
- Transfer onion/herb mixture to a saucepan and stir in spice mixture. Add remaining 2 ½ cups water and bring to gentle boil over high heat, then simmer for another hour or until reduced by half.
- Stir reduced onion mixture into the stockpot with tomatoes, simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until reduced by 1/3 to just over 2 quarts.
- Add cooked lentils and keep soup warm over low heat.
- Whisk together flour, water and yeast and let sit until foamy, about 10 mins.
- Add to flour mixture to soup, whisking constantly, then stir from bottom to prevent sticking until soup has thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and lemon juice.
- To serve, put a spoonful of celery salad on one side of a soup plate and then next to it, 8 date balls. Ladle soup around the celery and date balls so some of the garnishes remain visible. Drizzle some of the celery olive oil and garnish with celery leaves.