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This Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup called Harira is hearty, full of protein and loaded with nutrients. Warming, fragrant spices make this healthy one-pot meal deeply flavorful! Vegan and Gluten-Free adaptable.Video.
Looking for more? Check our 25+ Best Lentil Recipes
How are you tending to the emerging story of your life? ~Carol Hegedus
Richly spiced, full of flavor and hearty texture, this recipe for Harira is so satisfying. As many soups do, it just becomes better and better after a day or two in the fridge. It is a perfect wholesome meal to make ahead and glean from all week. Nothing better for me than to open the fridge to an already made healthy lunch just waiting to be reheated! Tucking some away in the freezer for a future convenient meal is also always a good thing.
In our meatless version of Harira, red lentils create a rich-bodied broth as they break down quickly, fusing with the tomatoes and broth. Brown or green lentils and chickpeas give hearty texture. Spices infuse the soup with warmth and rich flavor. Fresh cilantro and parsley are added to simmer with the broth and at the end to add fresh zest and brightness. Pasta is added near the end and just makes it that much more enjoyable to eat! (Feel free to use gluten-free pasta.)
Served with a fresh squeeze of lemon. It is common to enjoy this soup with dates on the side. I highly recommend it!
What is Harira? (“huh-rear-ra”)
Harira is a traditional Moroccan comfort soup. During the fasting month of Ramadan, where no food or drink is consumed between dawn and dusk, Harira is often eaten to break the daily fast. Loaded with fiber, protein and nutrients this soup is very sustaining and satisfying.
There are many many variations of Harira, often including a type of meat, lentils, chickpeas, pasta or rice in a richly spiced tomato base.
Harira Soup | 60-Sec Video
Ingredients in Harira
- veggies: onion, garlic, celery
- spices: ginger, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon stick and saffron
- beans: chickpeas, red lentils, green or brown lentils
- broth: vegetable, chicken, or lamb
- canned tomatoes
- pasta: wheat or rice
- fresh herbs: cilantro & parsley
How to make Harira
Prep your veggies, gather spices, chop fresh herbs.
Saute onions for 5 minutes in olive oil, over medium heat.
Add celery, garlic, ginger, pepper, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne stir for another minute.
Blooming the spices in the oil, deepens the spice flavors bringing out the complexities.
Add broth, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, saffron, salt, red lentils, brown lentils, half of the cilantro and half of the parsley.
Bring to a simmer, partially covered with a lid, for 30 minutes.
Add chickpeas and pasta cook 5-10 minutes more. Until pasta is cooked.
Expert Tip: If you plan to save the soup for eating later or plan to freeze some of it, cook the pasta separately and add it in per serving. Especially good for some of the gluten-free varieties of pasta that tend to break down.
Add remaining fresh herbs.
Serve with lemon wedges, a swirl of yogurt and dates on the side.
Can this be made Vegan?
Yes! Use vegetable broth and substitute in your favorite sweetener for the honey (if needed).
Variations on Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup
- Throw in chard, kale, spinach or other greens
- Use cooked rice instead of pasta
- Use orzo pasta instead of broken capellini
- Add seared lamb, beef, or chicken
More recipes you may enjoy
- Moroccan Kale, Chickpea & Sweet Potato Salad
- Minestrone Soup with Spring Veggies & Chickpeas
- Moroccan Lentil Quinoa Soup
- Moroccan Chicken Lentil Soup with Saffron and Preserved Lemon
- Moroccan Carrot Soup
- Healthy Middle Eastern Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- African Peanut Soup Recipe
- Harvest Vegetable Soup
Hope you enjoy!
Harira: Moroccan Lentil Soup
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 10 cups 1x
- Category: soup, stew, vegan
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Moroccan
- Diet: Vegan
Harira is hearty, full of protein and loaded with nutrients. Warming fragrant spices make this healthy one-pot meal deeply flavorful! Vegan and Gluten-Free adaptable.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, inner leaves are fine, chopped small
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4–1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 6 cups broth, vegetable or chicken or water
- 1 28 ounce canned, whole or crushed tomatoes
- 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
- a tiny pinch of saffron (optional)
- 1–2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 cup red lentils, dry
- 1/2 cup brown or green lentils, dry
- 1 1/2 cups (1 15- ounce can) chickpeas (garbanzo beans) cooked
- 2 teaspoons honey (if needed)
- 1/4 pound capellini pasta, broken into approximately 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, stems are great
- 1/2 cup parsley
Serve with lemon wedges, a swirl of yogurt (if desired) and dates on the side.
- Saute onions for 5 minutes in olive oil, over medium heat.
- Add celery, garlic, ginger, pepper, turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne. Stir for another minute. Sautéing the spices allows them to bloom and deepen in flavor.
- Add broth, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, saffron, salt, red lentils, brown lentils, half of the cilantro and half of the parsley. Bring to a simmer, cover with a vented lid, for 30 minutes.
- Add Chickpeas and pasta cook 5-10 minutes more. (see notes)
- Add honey and remaining fresh herbs.
If you plan to save the soup for eating later or freeze it, cook the pasta separately and add it in per serving. Especially good for some of the gluten-free varieties of pasta that tend to break down more easily.
Salt will depend on the broth used and the amount in canned chickpeas- so salt to taste.
- Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups
- Calories: 261
- Sugar: 6.2 g
- Sodium: 340.2 mg
- Fat: 5.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 41.9 g
- Fiber: 7.2 g
- Protein: 13.2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: harira soup, harira recipe, moroccan harira soup, moroccan chickpea lentil soup,
This was awesome! I threw spinach in at the last minute (instead of cilantro & parsley) and also a can of coconut milk. It adds a bit more fat, but soo good! Topped with lemon and fresh mint. Thanks for the great recipes! 🙂
Yum! Hard to go wrong with coconut milk. Thanks Chirl!
This was delicious! I will be making this again!
Great to hear!
This soup is outstanding!
Skipped the pasta!
Great to hear Cindy!
Loved this soup!
Extremely Delicious, and healthy. I made mine in pressure cooker for high 6 min (after I sautéed ingredients). And served over rice
Excellent! I omitted the pasta and added 1 cup shrimp.
Sounds perfect Lana!
Healthy and easy. Made the house smell amazing too!
So glad you enjoyed!
This is an amazing soup recipe! I don’t normally gravitate toward these flavors, but OMG! Insanely satisfying… everyone loved it!
So happy you liked this Cynthia!
Easy to make, didn’t have any saffron on hand, allergic to turmeric, but the flavour of the soup was awesome
Glad you were able to make this work for you!
This was easy and delicious. I added a pound of lacinato kale, chopped into thin ribbons. Next time, I’ll substitute quinoa or farro for the pasta.
Great to hear Kathleen!
This soup is excellent and hearty and satisfying. I was out of smoked paprika so substituted with half regular paprika and half ground chipotle. At some time I had purchased a bag of 1 inch long pasta — it was perfect for this recipe. The soup has just enough bite and plenty of flavor. My husband didn’t even miss the meat!
Sounds perfect Marsha.
The spices made the house smell sooooo good! Used some leftover cooked Royal rice blend instead of the pasta. Served rosemary Italian bread on the side and it tasted great and was filling.
Great to hear Kelly!
This was excellent! I added a bit more spices and hot pepper, an extra cup of water and fresh spinach instead of cilantro or parsley. Otherwise, no changes. Perfect as is.
Thanks Maureen, so great to hear!
Fabulous flavor and very filling. Omitted the cilantro and added a smidge more saffron because I adore that flavor and wanted to make sure it came through in the flavor profile as it had a lot to compete with…otherwise followed the recipe. It does become quite thick due to the red lentils breaking down with cooking but that only serves to make it feel more hearty. Thank you for a great recipe that I’ll definitely make again and again!
So happy you liked this one!
Sorry you didn’t enjoy Zeena. Moroccan food is pretty complex and not for everyone.
Made this soup, following recipe exactly and included spinach. This was a complete, delicious & filling meal. My hubs & I absolutely love it. Will certainly add this recipe to the soup roster!
So glad you both enjoyed!
I made this dish and the flavors are amazing!
This dish was very thick though… like a chili? I went over the recipe a few times and still don’t see how it became so think?
6 cups of broth and simmered for 30 minutes with a vented lid?
Made this last night and it was so good! Super easy to make and had plenty leftover so that I could freeze and enjoy again. Made the noodles separate.
So much flavor! Thanks for another amazing recipe! Didn’t change a thing (except no honey or lemon at end)
Great to hear Sharon!
This was a delightful and delicious recipe that I made for dinner tonight. The spices brought provided an aroma of Morocco’s delights in the kitchen. I would not change a thing! Thank you for this wonderful recipe. It will be a favourite meatless dish at our house.
Happy you enjoyed this Wendy!
For the Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea soup, can this be make in an instant pot? If so, how does the broth volume and liquid cooking time vary?
Hi Michael, I am just guessing here as we haven’t tried this in the instant pot. 10 minutes on high pressure and then manual release. Probably use 1/2 to 1 cup less of broth. I would cook the pasta separately.
Absolutely love this recipe and can see it becoming a family recipe. I have made this soup true to recipe and to our own tastes (e.g. more spice). This is a keeper!!!
Great to hear Gina! We like it spicy too.