Moroccan Lentil Soup, aka Harira, is a spiced north African nutritious soup, low in carbs and high in Proteins.
If you like soups like my Indian lentil soup, then this one-pot easy soup should be your next dinner meal!
What is Moroccan Soup (Harira)?
Harira is a Moroccan Lentil Soup served all year round but especially during Ramadan to break the fast at night.
The soup is usually prepared with local meats such as lamb to enrich it and make it super nutritious, because of the daylight fast.
If you don’t get to eat the whole day, you need to pack the soup with nutritional value.
With the proteins from the meat and lentils, this is easily achieved, yet this is not the only perk of this wonderful soup.
Moroccan ladies know how to cook up great dishes, so they figured it would make sense to season it appropriately because you need to celebrate the fact that you managed to get through another day without eating, right?
So, the Moroccan soup is packed with gorgeous flavors.
You won’t be able to leave your spoon alone.
Moroccan stew ingredients:
This Moroccan Lentil Soup is vegetarian, simply because I am really picky with lamb meat and I don’t think this soup would be that great with beef or chicken.
Besides I decided long ago that this soup is just amazing vegan and that anything more would be almost too much.
After all, I am no a person who needs to fast.
Yet, if you feel like adding lamb to it, just do it!
(and then invite me over to convince me to make mine with lamb meat in the future! :P)
You will need legumes, red lentils and chickpeas (garbanzo beans), for this soup.
I use only dried lentils and chickpeas, not the canned stuff and I usually go organic as well because those taste better and the quality is higher as well.
Red lentils and Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
Root vegetables are important here as well because they give the basic flavors to the soup.
I add carrots, celery green stalks, onion, ginger, and garlic.
The spices are essential as well. I like to use Turmeric, cumin, chili, cinnamon, and black pepper.
These spices combined to create a warm comfortable taste which works really well with the chosen legumes and root veggies.
Besides that, I add in some acidity with tomato, which also thickens the soup, and lemon juice at the end.
These flavors combined to create a well-rounded taste experience for this Moroccan Lentil Soup!
How to make Moroccan Lentil Soup?
The Moroccan soup with lentils and chickpeas is very straightforward to prepare.
Keep your ingredients cut and ready so that you can just cooking and add the ingredients along the way.
You need to keep the soup to cook for 60 minutes at least so that it gains in flavor.
This is important even if your chickpeas are cooked super soft in advance.
Lemon Juice is always used to garnish this soup.
I like to add cilantro as well as color contrast and for little flavor (you can skip the cilantro if you like).
The full recipe card is situated further below with the step by step details.
You can also cook the Moroccan lentil soup in the following appliances to save time and effort:
- Instant Pot
- Slow Cooker
How to serve the Harira Soup?
The most delicious way to enjoy Harira Soup, in my opinion, is simply to serve it as a main dish with bread or a flatbread.
Sometimes I prepare Lebanese zaatar flatbread (I know it’s not Moroccan but the combination is really amazing!) with the Harira soup.
Moroccans that I met have their own opinion.
Most will say to serve the soup with dates.
Some have suggested dried figs or a potato patty called Maâkouda.
Others enjoy the Moroccan Lentil Soup as a starter and serve up other Meditteranean/north African meals after that such as tajine or stuffed tomatoes.
More Global Soups:
- Turkish Lentil Soup
- Japanese Onion Soup
- Tibetan Noodle Soup
- Spicy Thai Noodle Soup
- Hungarian Goulash Soup
- French Veal Stew
Dear Reader, how did you get to know about the Harira Moroccan lentil Soup?
Spicy Moroccan Lentil Soup Recipe
How to Video
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- 1 Onion sliced
- 1 Tomato diced
- 1 Tablespoon Ginger + Garlic paste or chopped fine
- 1/2 cup Celery stalks greens cut small
- 1 small Carrot cut small
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin powder
- 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Pepper Flakes optional
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon powder
- 1 cup Red Lentils *see Notes
- 1 cup Chickpeas aka Garbanzo Beans, soft Cooked
- 6 cups Water mixed with concentrated Stock
- to taste Salt
- 1 Lemon Juice to garnish
- Cilantro aka Coriander greens, to garnish
- Add the oil to your pot and heat up. Throw in the onion slices and cook translucent.
- Then add the tomato pieces and stir-fry for a minute
- Next, add the ginger and garlic and stir fry on high heat quickly. Reduce heat and directly add the cut celery greens and carrot pieces.
- Fry on medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat and add in the spices one by one. Black Pepper, Turmeric, Cumin, Chili flakes, and cinnamon.
- Mix a bit and increase heat to medium.
- Throw in the red lentils and the cooked chickpeas. Mix and let cook for a minute.
- Now pour in the broth and mix the content well.
- Taste to see if salt is needed. Cover and let cook for about 1 hour on slow heat.
- Check once in a while on your soup.
- The soup is ready when all the ingredients are soft after 60 minutes.
- Garnish with lemon juice and cilantro and serve hot.
- Use dry organic red lentils, but cooked soft chickpeas Red lentils cook quickly and here they don’t need soaking in this recipe because the soup will be cooking beyond 20 minutes. However, the chickpeas need to be already cooked soft because they are notoriously hard otherwise and take a while to cook. I pressure cook my dry chickpeas before using them in my dishes.