Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin

My first taste of this nourishing soup was in Morocco. We were filming a show called Planet Food during Ramadan and harira was cooked for me in a family home. Traditionally, Moroccans eat this to break the daily fast during the holy month.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon clarified butter or salted butter
2 large onions, chopped
30g chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped celery leaves
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
225g lamb shoulder, cut into 1 cm cubes
6 chicken wings
90g dried green lentils
2 tablespoons coriander leaves
900g ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed and chopped
1.3 litres water
90g short vermicelli noodles
3 tablespoons plain flour, mixed with 120 ml water
lemon wedges, to squeeze


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onions, parsley, celery leaves, 1 teaspoon of pepper and the turmeric. Sauté over low–medium heat for 3–4 minutes. Add the cinnamon, lamb and chicken wings. Cook slowly over a low heat for 15–20 minutes, turning the mixture, until golden but not browned.
  2. Rinse the lentils in cold water and discard any discoloured ones. In a mortar and pestle, pound the coriander with a pinch of salt to form a paste. Add the lentils, coriander paste and tomatoes to the pan and cook for 15 minutes on a low heat. Add the water, bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes–1 hour, until the lentils are soft. Season the soup to taste, add the noodles, then bring to the boil once more. Cook for 2 minutes, stir in the flour-water mixture and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.


  • If you want to make this gluten-free, leave out the flour.
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