Moroccan Egg Drop Harira (Vegetable and Legume Soup)

This version of harira features both lentils and chickpeas, and is finished with a drizzle of beaten egg.

Overhead view of egg drop Harira

Serious Eats / Jen Causey

Why It Works

  • Adding a thickening agent known as “tadwira” (mixed cornstarch and water) towards the end of the cooking process allows you to control how thick the harira will be. 
  • Adding fresh cilantro at the very end of the cooking process preserves its fresh flavor and bold aromas, which are key to a successful harira.

Harira is a soup enjoyed across Morocco. Though different regions and families have their own special way of making it, the soup typically contains tomatoes, celery, pulses such as chickpeas or lentils, spices, cilantro, and cornstarch. Harira is often prepared with red meat, but some versions are made with chicken, eggs, or can be vegan. This version features both lentils and chickpeas, and is finished with a drizzle of beaten egg to form little wispy egg bits in the thickened soup.

Derived from the Arabic word “harir,” harira translates into “silk,” which describes the consistency of the soup. Towards the end of the cooking process, harira is thickened with a mixture of cornstarch and water—called “tadwira”— that gives it its distinctive smooth and silky texture. The tadwira is poured into the soup and immediately stirred in to quickly incorporate it, then simmered until the starches gelatinize and thicken the broth. If more is needed, more can be added, little by little, to get the correct final consistency (though this recipe produces a soup base that's thick enough from the vegetables not to require extra cornstarch). 

Harira is famously served during Ramadan to break the fast, since a bowl is a nutrient-packed meal in itself. It’s very common to make batches of harira big enough to feed the whole family, along with unexpected guests, for several days.  

Though the soup is typically tomato-based, its flavor isn’t the defining one. Instead, it's complemented with warm spices such as turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. The cilantro added at the very end of the cooking process adds freshness and balances out the cooked vegetal flavors of the soup. The final touch that makes all the difference? A squeeze of fresh lemon juice for acidity and brightness. Fragrant and herbaceous, harira is as satisfying as it is nourishing.

Recipe Facts

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 95 mins
Total: 105 mins
Serves: 6 servings

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  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (22ml) extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon (14g) ghee or unsalted butter

  • 1 medium yellow onion (8 ounces; 227g), finely chopped (1 1/4 cups)

  • 1 cup finely chopped celery (5 ounces; 140g; from 3 large ribs)

  • 1 1/2 cups (355ml) tomato passata (strained tomatoes), from one 24-ounce jar

  • 1/4 packed cup (20g) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt, plus more to taste; for table salt use half as much by volume

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads (about 20 threads) 

  • 5 cups lightly salted homemade vegetable stock or store-bought low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 1/3 cup dried green lentils (2.3 ounces; 66g)

  • 1/4 cup uncooked white long-grain rice (1/8 ounces; 50g), such as basmati 

  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas (2.8 ounces; 79g), rinsed and drained

  • 1 tablespoon (8g) cornstarch

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

  • Cilantro leaves, for serving

  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat until butter is foamy. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, 5 to 6 minutes.

  2. Stir in passata, parsley, ground ginger, salt, ground turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, and saffron. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in vegetable broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour. (This time will allow the spices to steep and develop.)

  3. Stir in lentils and rice, cover pot, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in chickpeas, cover, and cook until both the rice and lentils are almost cooked, about 10 minutes longer.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and with 1 tablespoon (15ml) water until smooth. Add to the soup and stir well to combine. Increase heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the harira thickens and lentils are tender, 5 to 8 minutes.

  5. While stirring the soup in a circular motion using a ladle, slowly pour the beaten egg in to form threads, then simmer harira for 1 minute until the eggs are fully cooked. Season with salt, if desired.

  6. Stir in chopped cilantro and serve immediately with lemon wedges and more cilantro leaves.

Make-Ahead and Storage

The soup can be made and refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
166 Calories
7g Fat
22g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 166
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 533mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 26mg 129%
Calcium 62mg 5%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 522mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)