RECIPE: Harira vegetable soup with barley and quinoa

Fragrant and zesty, this Harira soup by food photographer Dianne Bibby promises to be the warm kick that beats the winter woes.

South African cookbook author and food stylist Dianne Bibby has travelled throughout the world. Though she has visited every nook and cranny of the globe, she says middle Eastern flavours have greatly impacted her style of cooking.  

Bibby believes that food is universal and has the ability to connect people beyond any border. She makes this wonderfully fragrant Moroccan harira soup with zesty seasoning which promises to bring the smell of a Moroccan market right into your home. Hearty and filled with proteins, this soup is just the warm, punchy kick you need to beat the winter woes.  


Serves: 8-10  


  1. Heat a small pan over a medium heat and dry toast the cumin seeds until fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Crush lightly in a pestle and mortar. 
  2. In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook for several minutes, then add the garlic. Stir through.  
  3. Add the ginger and all the spices, including the crushed cumin and lemon zest. Stir through and toast for about a minute to release the fragrant oils. 
  4. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, tomato passata, lentils, barley and stock. Bring the soup up to a boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. 
  5. Stir through the quinoa and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes or until the barley is tender and the quinoa is softened. 
  6. Add the chickpeas and lemon juice and heat through. 
  7. To serve, scatter with a handful of the herbs and chopped walnuts.