For something hearty and nutritious, give your venison a Moroccan twist. Try Philippa Davis' venison harira with this simple method


For something a little different, give your venison a Moroccan twist. Philippa Davis’ venison harira uses a method that is simpler than the traditional version, yet still hearty and nutritious.

When the temperatures really drop, only the ultimate comfort soup will do. If our cullen skink doesn’t keep the winter chill at bay, nothing will.

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Harira is a Moroccan soup and comes from the Arabic word for silk. It has an incredible aroma and is hearty and nutritious. Traditionally cooked in a pressure cooker, my version is slightly easier as I use tinned chickpeas so it can be done in a pan. The soup is thickened slightly and given a ‘silky’ texture by stirring through beaten eggs just before serving.

Makes 4 servings

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 venison shank bone in (approx 350g)
  • 1 red onion, peeled, quartered then finely sliced
  • 3 sticks celery, cut into 1cm lengths
  • 20g fresh coriander, finely chopped (stalks and leaves)
  • 1 tsp dried ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 40g finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 400g tin (240g drained weight) chickpeas, drained and lightly rinsed
  • 2 litres light game stock
  • 100g red lentils
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Place a large saucepan on a medium heat, add the oil and brown the shank on all sides.

Add the onion, celery, half the coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and ginger, season and sauté for five minutes.

Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and game stock, season again, bring to a simmer and cook with a lid half off for 2 hours or until the shanks are soft.

Add the lentils and cook for another 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Stir through the egg and cook for another minute. It should thicken and you will see streaks of cooked egg.

Stir through the rest of the coriander and serve.