Chorba or Harira all vegetables

Chorba or Harira all vegetables

Recipe Andre Zan Murat.

Vegetables © Getty

Harira in Morocco, Tunisian Chorba is the MOST great soup of Judeo-Arab cuisine.

This is what accompanies the end of the fast during Ramadan, i.e. whether it is nutritious, especially if it is cooked with meat, as required by tradition.

This version is without meat (I added 3 courgettes and 2 carrots). Since the book version (but works great anyway), I’ve removed the cornstarch to thicken the soup, preferring to make it with more chickpeas and puree.

For 6-8 people

Preparation: 20 min – Preparation: 2 h

  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery core or 2 large stalks
  • 2 or 3 zucchini
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaved parsley
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tbsp a spoonful of tomato puree
  • 1 can 400g plain tomato pulp or 500g fresh tomatoes
  • 2 doses of saffron
  • 200g freekeh (or round white or brown rice, wheat, spelt, etc.)
  • 1 can of boiled chickpeas (400 g without liquid)
  • 100 g light lentils (or in a can, prepared without additives)
  • 1 tbsp teaspoon harissa (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt pepper

Rinse the lentils and boil for 30-35 minutes in 3 times the volume of cold water without salt.

Peel the onion and cut it into small cubes. Peel, wash and cut the celeriac into thin strips. Peel the carrot and cut it into small cubes. Remove the ends of the zucchini, wash them and cut into cubes without removing the skin.

Rinse and dry the parsley and coriander, cut off the ends of the stems (the thickest and/or damaged part), then chop everything, including the stems, keeping the two herbs separate.

Soak freekeh for 30 minutes and drain.

Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan and sauté the onion with a little salt and wait 5 minutes. Add celery and diced carrots (all in 10 minutes). Continue with the tomato puree, mix well, wait a bit, then add the tomatoes, zucchini, half of the parsley and coriander (stem side), saffron, harissa, chickpeas (crushed in half) and lentils. Pour 2 liters of water (including water from lentils), adjust the seasonings, wait until it boils, cover and cook for 1 hour 30 minutes.

After 1 hour, add freekeh.

Garnish the tureen or plates with the remaining fresh herbs.

Place several cups on the table filled with lemon wedges, fresh herbs, and harissa. Fans try chorba hot and drizzled with lemon zest.


Freekeh is green wheat that is harvested before it is ripe. The cobs are then fired with a blowtorch or wood fire to remove the husks from the wheat more easily, giving it a slightly smoky flavor. Prepares very quickly. Or instead of freakeh.

By adapting the cooking time, you can use:

  • Small pasta or white rice: traditional preparation
  • Round brown rice, whole wheat, spelt: Rinse well, pour into boiling water and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Mogrhabieh: Coarse-grained Lebanese couscous made with semolina, flour and water. It can be found dried in oriental grocery stores.


With meat: For this amount, use 250 g of beef, veal or lamb, cut into thin strips and fried with onions. Or pieces of lamb neck (very tasty if skinned after cooking.

It’s a little lighter here, we usually thicken this soup by 1 tbsp. tablespoons of corn starch are dissolved in lemon juice and poured with water.

In the season I prefer fresh tomatoes. Dip them in boiling water for 10 seconds, drain the water, peel, remove the seeds and coarsely chop.

If you are cooking beans, The day before, soak the chickpeas in water with 1 tbsp. baking soda. On the same day, drain them, rinse and cook for 30 minutes, falling asleep with water without salt. Rinse 100 g of light lentils, add to chickpeas and cook for another 30 minutes. Pour everything into the soup, including the boiling water.

Cooking in a pressure cooker (pressure cooker) saves half the indicated time.

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