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Moroccan Beef, Tomato and Chickpea Stew (Harira)
Harira is a Moroccan stew—or a thick, hearty soup—traditionally served during Ramadan as a way to break the fast. Made with meat, tomatoes, spices and chickpeas, harira is warming and deeply satisfying, so it’s no surprise it’s served year-round in homes as well as at shops. We sampled several versions on a recent trip to Morocco, and we loved the one taught to us by home cook Houda Mehdi, who lives in Fes in northeastern Morocco. We based our recipe on hers, opting for stovetop simmering instead of pressure cooking and swapping beef for lamb. We also use canned chickpeas for convenience. Though harira typically is thickened with flour, Mehdi prefers to use pureed cooked vegetables (potatoes and carrots) to give the broth body, because she says—and we agree—that the stew tastes cleaner and brighter. We follow her lead and mash the vegetables that have simmered until tender in the cooking liquid to a coarse puree (alternatively, you could use an immersion blender for a smoother, more even texture). Harissa, a North African spice paste, lends the stew a delicious heat and complexity. Serve the harira with warm bread.
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
large red onion, chopped
01In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, carrots, celery, cilantro stems and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the paste begins to brown and stick to the pot, about 1 minute. Stir in the harissa and turmeric, followed by the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
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