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(recipe, Caroline Cummins)

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This is a variation on the traditional Moroccan harira soup, flavored in the same way but without the extra carbs that are often added in the form of rice or pasta. Traditionally a meal for breaking the Ramadan fast, this hearty dish is perfect on a cold winter's evening. You can also use canned chickpeas here (roughly 3 cups or 500 grams) instead of dried. We dedicate the recipe to Khalid Assyb, our pastry genius, who has been tormented by our constant eating through many Ramadans.


  1. 1 cup (200 grams) dried chickpeas
  2. 1 tsp. baking soda
  3. 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  4. 1 large onion, cut into ⅜-inch (1-centimeter) dice
  5. 7 oz. (200 grams) boneless lamb rack or shoulder, cut into ⅜-inch (1-centimeter) dice
  6. 2 Tbsp. tomato purée
  7. 1 Tbsp. superfine sugar
  8. 2½ lb. (1 kilogram) canned tomatoes, chopped
  9. 5 cups (1.2 liters) chicken stock or water
  10. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  11. Juice of 1 lemon
  12. 1 tsp. ground cumin
  13. 1 tsp. ground ginger
  14. Pinch of saffron threads
  15. 3 cups (100 grams) baby spinach leaves
  16. 4 Tbsp. coarsely chopped cilantro
  17. 4 to 6 lemon wedges


  1. Start preparing the soup the night before by putting the dried chickpeas in a large bowl with the baking soda and covering them with plenty of cold water — it should cover the chickpeas by at least twice their height. Leave at room temperature to soak overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the soaked chickpeas, place in a large saucepan, and cover with plenty of fresh water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 to 1½ hours, until the chickpeas are tender. Drain in a colander and set aside.
  3. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and fry until soft and translucent. Increase the heat, add the diced lamb, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the lamb is sealed on all sides and has taken on a bit of color. Add the tomato purée and sugar and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes, drained chickpeas, stock, and some salt and pepper.
  4. Bring the soup to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Use a large spoon to skim off any scum that forms on the surface, then cook for about 35 minutes, until the meat is tender.
  5. Squeeze the lemon juice into the soup. Season the soup with the cumin, ginger, and saffron. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
  6. When ready to serve, bring the soup back to a boil. Wash and drain the spinach leaves and chop them coarsely. Add the spinach and cilantro to the soup just before you bring it to the table. Serve with a wedge of lemon.