Sunday, September 26, 2010

FoodBuzz Project Food Blog Challenge #2 – Harira – Moroccan lamb and lentil soup


I am really excited to go on to part two of the FoodBuzz challenge, The Project Food Blog 2010. Thank you everyone that voted for me.           

For the second challenge in The Project Food Blog 2010, I was asked to select an ethnic classic that is outside of my comfort zone.            

Challenge number two was surprisingly difficult for me especially deciding what to cook. My challenge was finding an ethnic food that I am uncomfortable cooking. Every week, I regularly make ethnic dishes and am very comfortable cooking Swedish, Thai, Korean, Greek, Indian, Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese food. I promised myself that the challenge had to be from a country I have never been to or cooked their food.  I really had to take out a globe and start looking.  Then I came up with a few ideas Albanian, Bolivian, etc.  But those didn’t sound very interesting, so then I went to my travel to do list. Which places are on my list for vacation that I still have not been to?  Here I found the place – Morocco.  I have never been to Morocco, I have eaten Moroccan food and I love their flavors and spices.  But I have never cooked it.  So then I started doing research on traditional Moroccan food. I was like a little kid in a candy store.     



Moroccan cuisine is extremely diverse, and has influences of Berber, Moorish, Mediterranean, and Arab spices. As a result, Moroccan cuisine is regarded as the most diverse in the world. Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food such as saffron, mint, cinnamon cumin, turmeric, ginger, anise, and coriander; spices that are strong and aromatic and just make the house smell wonderful.            

The most common Moroccan dish is couscous, something I really enjoy but it is too easy to make. As I continued down the list of traditional Moroccan dish, I found Pastilla,  Tajine, and Harira. All three dishes sounded amazing, but I ended up picking Harira since it is a soup and I am a huge soup lover, I knew it would be something I would make again for dinner.          

Harira is a chickpea and lamb soup from Morocco usually served in the evening when it’s time for Muslims to break the daily fast during Ramadan. In Morocco, it is eaten along with fresh figs, or honey sweetmeats (chabakkia with almonds and honey).            


I looked around for Harira recipes and there are many versions; vegetarian, beef and lamb.  Since I am also a lamb lover I opted for a Lamb Harira recipe.  Also there are many additional variations of this recipe some use saffron some do not, I do not know if this is because it’s hard to get or not.  But I opted for a recipe I found in the New York Times but I decided to add saffron to it since that is what I was reading was authentic. Also I opted to use the vermicelli pasta vs. the rice, you can add rice, vermicelli pasta or both.            

As I was cooking this dish the house smelled wonderful and I wanted to start planning my trip to Morocco.         

Picture from Moroccan Adventure Travel 

The dish was delicious, so tasty and flavorful.  It is something I will definitely make again.          

Harira – Moroccan lamb and lentil soup

Yields: 12 servings | Prep Time: 2 hour 30 minutes             

Note: If you are using dried lentils and garbanzo beans leave them in water overnight           

4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 red onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 lbs cubed lamb meat
2 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp of ground coriander
6 saffron threads (optional)
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 carrot, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
1/4 of fresh coriander leaves, chopped or whole or substitute with fresh parsley.
Sea salt
1 29-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tomato, chopped
1 1/2 cups green lentils
2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained
6 ounces vermicelli pasta
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Juice of 2 lemons
12 cups water           

In a large pot, warm olive oil. Add both types of onion and garlic, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. On the side heat up a skillet with oil and when hot brown the lamb about 1 minute each on each side.  Then add lamb, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, celery, cumin, coriander, saffron and cilantro, into the pot and let cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Season with salt.           

Add canned tomatoes, reserving juice, and tomato and simmer for 15 minutes.         

Add reserved tomato juice, carrot, turnip, 12 cups water and lentils. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours.           

Increase heat to medium-high. Add beans and pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer. Taste for seasoning.           

Beat the eggs and add some hot soup to the eggs to make sure you do not get scrambled eggs. Then pour the mixture back into the soup and , then add lemon juice.           

Add fresh coriander just before serving or substitute with fresh parsley.           

Ladle into bowls and serve with fresh figs on the side.              

Voting for Challenge #2 starts Monday at 6:00 am Pacific Time September 27th and voting closes Thursday 6:00 pm Pacific Time September 30th.             

To vote:          

1. Please go to and join Foodbuzz. This is only for authentication.  

2. Then go to my profile page and click VOTE!

If you would like to follow me on this challenge you can do that via any of the following links: TwitterFacebook | Email | RSS

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32 Responses to “FoodBuzz Project Food Blog Challenge #2 – Harira – Moroccan lamb and lentil soup”

  1. 1

    sadaf — September 26, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

    looks great you will got my vote tommorrow

    • Delishhh replied: — November 29th, 2010 @ 11:01 am

      Sadaf – Love your blog. Just saw your crostata and it looks fabulous. Thanks for stopping by and come back soon. This month i will be featuring lots of Swedish Christmas recipes.

  2. 2

    Maryla — September 26, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

    Looks delicious! What part of lamb did you use?

    • Delishhh replied: — November 29th, 2010 @ 11:04 am


      Hope you had a good weekend and a fabulous Thanksgiving 🙂 I don’t know but do you do Thanksgiving now when you are back in Sweden. Anyways i must have missed this question way back. But i used a lamb shank for this soup. Happy first advent! Eat anything good?

  3. 3

    Heather (Heather's Dish) — September 27, 2010 @ 8:13 am

    that photo of the figs lined up just made my heart melt! thank you so much for your vote…you got mine too 🙂

    • Delishhh replied: — November 29th, 2010 @ 11:14 am

      Heather – Love your blog. The foodbuzz challanges were fun i am still following people on it and love to read about them. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and hope you can stop by soon again.

  4. 4

    Anna — September 27, 2010 @ 9:28 am

    This sounds soo good and those are the most beautiful figs. I love Moroccan food. This recipe is definitely a winner and you get my vote too 😀

    • Delishhh replied: — November 29th, 2010 @ 11:24 am

      Anna – I love Moroccan food too, but i never know what to make. What do you usually make? Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

  5. 5

    Camille — September 27, 2010 @ 9:32 am

    How perfect with the fresh figs now that it’s fig season! Good luck in round 2!

    • Delishhh replied: — November 30th, 2010 @ 11:57 pm

      Camille – Thanks for stopping by. I loved watching everyone in foodbuzz. I have a great giveaway going on if you are interested. Hope you can stop by soon.

  6. 6

    saltyseattle — September 27, 2010 @ 9:42 am

    Great job staying true to the constraints of the challenge and selecting something interesting to read, look at, and presumably eat:) I love the fig lineup shot. Fig season is freakin’ amazing this year I’m noticing.

    • Delishhh replied: — December 1st, 2010 @ 12:00 am

      Linda – Hope all is well. Been following you for awhile and love your blog and your crazy imagination :). Still very interested to learn more about the Sous Vide, just might have to get it to try it out. Hope to see you here soon again. Maybe one day we could meet up in a Seattle blog meet up.

  7. 7

    Maddie — September 27, 2010 @ 11:36 am

    You’ve made me want to skip work tomorrow and head out to Morocco — seriously, I love the descriptions in this post. The history of Northern Africa is fascinating, too. You’ve got my vote (again), Ewa!

  8. 8

    Shelly Borrell (Nibbles of Tidbits) — September 27, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

    Go Moroccan dishes!!!!!! Yours looks awesome too. Beautiful photos. Good luck to you. One vote here from me 🙂

    • Delishhh replied: — December 1st, 2010 @ 12:05 am

      Shelly – I loved following the foodbuzz challenge and still do. Hope you had a good thanksgiving. I have a great giveaway going on now if you want to stop by.

  9. 9

    Lisa — September 27, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

    What an amazing choice for your entry. It looks and sounds delicious especially with all those different spices added in. You’ve got my vote.

    • Delishhh replied: — December 1st, 2010 @ 12:06 am

      Lisa – oh i loved the foodbuzz challenges, sad it is over but i am still following everyone who is there. Hope you had a good thanksgiving. I have a great giveaway going on now hope you can stop by.

  10. 10

    blackbookkitchendiaries — September 27, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

    this dish looks so good and comforting:) i love it.

    • Delishhh replied: — December 1st, 2010 @ 12:09 am

      Hi Blackbookkitchendiaries – I had so much fun during the foodbuzz challanges. Hope you had a good thanksgiving. Please stop by for a great giveaway going on now.

  11. 11

    Reeni — September 27, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

    That is a delicious bowl of comfort if I’ve ever seen one! I am a serious soup lover too. Good luck – I’m rooting for you all the way!

  12. 12

    Virginia Taylor — September 27, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

    Beautiful post and a wonderful recipe that I copied and will try. Thank you for taking a peek at my blog and attempt to also cook Moroccan! You have my vote!!

  13. 13

    Lisa~Korean American Mommy — September 27, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

    Thanks for the vote. I just voted for you. The dish looks amazing. Great job!

  14. 14

    Heather — September 28, 2010 @ 9:33 am

    Yes, please. 🙂

  15. 15

    Joan Nova — September 28, 2010 @ 11:15 am

    Nice entry and photos. Voting!

  16. 16

    Peter — September 28, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

    Love those figs, and I’ll eat anything lamb. Looks great, you got our vote!

  17. 17

    Amanda (The Culinary Passport) — September 29, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

    This looks totally amazing. I can’t wait to try it!

  18. 18

    Jean — September 30, 2010 @ 4:26 pm

    Great pictures and execution of this challenge. I apologize for the late comment but you did get my vote. 🙂

  19. 19

    Jane Bonacci — October 3, 2010 @ 12:20 am

    Hi – I tried to vote for this recipe but voting has ended. I’ll be faster next time! This looks delishhh!

  20. 20

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