cook’s illustrated harira (moroccan lentil & chickpea soup)

2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion
chopped fine
2 ribs celery
chopped fine
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ginger
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup parsley
4 cups chicken broth
or vegetable broth for vegan
4 cups water
1 can chickpeas
15 ounces, rinsed
1 cup brown lentils
picked over and rinsed
1 can crushed tomatoes
28 ounces
1/2 cup orzo
4 oz Swiss chard
cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup parsley
1 tsp salt
or to taste, use grey salt if available
to taste
lemon wedges
This soup is an improved, more complex version of the Moroccan chickpea stew we've been making for years. After the mise en place is done, the execution of the recipe is rather easy. The orzo in this soup gives it a lovely body and texture.
To prep, measure out the spices and combine them in a small container. Wash and process all the veggies. Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans and lentils.
Preheat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and add the onion and celery once the oil starts to shimmer. Cook and stir frequently for about 7-8 minutes. The veggies should just start to brown at this point. (It's nice to sip on a drink during this step.)
Bring the heat down to medium and add the garlic and ginger. Cook and stir for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
Push the veggies to the perimeter of the pot and add the spice mix to the center. Bloom the spices by mixing over the heat for about 1 minute, then mix the spices into the veggies.
Add the cilantro and parsley. Stir and cook for about 1 minute.
Add the broth, water, chickpeas, and lentils. Increase the heat to high and stir to combine. Once the mixture starts to simmer, drop the heat to medium low. Partially cover the pot and cook for about 20 minutes until the lentils become tender.
Add the tomatoes and orzo. Increase the heat to high again and stir to combine. Once the soup simmers, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, for 7 minutes.
Mix in the chard and cook partially covered for about 5 more minutes.
Transfer the pot away from the heat and add lemon juice, cilantro, and parsley (save a few pinches of herbs to garnish individual bowls). Season with salt and pepper.
Top each bowl with some herbs and serve with a lemon wedge on the side. Garnish with harissa if available.
source: March-April 2018 issue of Cook's Illustrated