Moroccan Harira Stew
After my colleague Linda, who takes many of the gorgeous food photographs for The Scramble, went on a food tour in Morocco, led by Chef Amy Riolo, she shared a version of this recipe with me. I couldn’t believe how fragrant and delectable this stew is, and now I’m so excited to share it with you! I know it goes over my usual number of ingredients but, believe me, it’s worth it.
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1/2 cup dried green lentils rinsed
- 15 oz. fire-roasted diced tomatoes with their liquid, or use regular diced tomatoes
- 32 oz. reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or use any variety)
- 1/4 tsp. saffron threads optional
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 cup pearled farro, Arborio rice or quick-cooking brown rice
- 1 stalk celery finely diced
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro coarsely chopped, or use extra parsley
- 15 oz. canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)(or use 1 1/2 cups home-cooked chickpeas for every 15 oz. can), drained and rinsed
- Heat a heavy stockpot over medium heat, and when it is hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté them until they are tender, 5 – 7 minutes.
- Stir in the lentils, tomatoes, broth, saffron, cinnamon and pepper, cover and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer it for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the farro or rice, celery, tomato paste, parsley, cilantro, and chickpeas to the pot, cover it, bring it back to a boil, then remove the cover and simmer it for 20 more minutes, stirring it occasionally.
- Using an immersion (hand) or standing blender, puree some of the stew, just enough to thicken the broth, but keeping it plenty chunky. Serve it immediately, refrigerate it for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Slow Cooker Directions
- Omit the oil. Combine all ingredients except the farro or rice in the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 - 8 hours or on high for 3 1/2 - 4 hours, until the lentils are tender. Add the farro or rice, turn the slow cooker to high and cook for 30 more minutes until the farro or rice is tender. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Dice the onions, rinse the lentils, combine the spices, dice the celery, chop the cilantro and parsley, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the soup. Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp. ground coriander to the stew. Stir in a little red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice towards the end of cooking for a brighter flavor. Tip: Saffron threads come from the stigmas of crocus flowers. If you do have saffron in your spice cabinet, keep in mind that a little goes a long way. It’s also excellent in dishes such as paella and other rice dishes and seafood stews. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 269, Total Fat: 6g, 8.5%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 3%; Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%; Sodium: 296mg, 12.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 42g, 14%; Dietary Fiber: 9g, 33%; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 11g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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