Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup (aka 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.

Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup (aka 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.

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 Hariria

Ingredients in Harira

How to make Harira

Step one

Prep your veggies, gather spices, chop fresh herbs.

chopped onion, celery and herbs

Step two

Saute onions for 5 minutes in olive oil, over medium heat.

sautéing onions

Step three

Add celery, garlic,  ginger, pepper, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne stir for another minute.

adding spices, celery, and garlic to the onions

Blooming the spices in the oil, deepens the spice flavors bringing out the complexities.

adding broth and lentils to the soup

Step four

Add broth, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, saffron, salt, red lentils, brown lentils, half of the cilantro and half of the parsley.

simmering the soup

Step five

Bring to a simmer, partially covered with a lid, for 30 minutes.

broken pasta to add to the soup

Step six

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.

finished soup

Step seven

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

Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup (aka 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.

More recipes you may enjoy

Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup (aka 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.

Hope you enjoy!

Tonia

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Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup (aka 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.

Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup (Harira)

  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • 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

Description

Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup (aka 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.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 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
  • 1/41/2 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)
  • 12 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup brown or green lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups or 1 15- ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 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.


Instructions

  1. Saute onions for 5 minutes in olive oil, over medium heat.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add Chickpeas and pasta cook 5-10 minutes more.  (see notes)
  5. Add honey and remaining fresh herbs.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

  • 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,

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Comments

  1. Love this recipe! I had to make a few modifications based on what I had available but it worked fabulously. Paprika was not smoked, no saffron, fettuccine instead of capellini, forgot the honey at the end – you get the picture. It doesn’t matter. It’s great but I promise to try it true to form at a future date. Thank you!

  2. So good! I added the juice of one lemon right before serving, and it’s just perfect. Comforting, warm, nurturing. Wonderful recipe!

  3. I love this soup too! Made it again for about the 5th time. It always goes down well
    Thank you so much!
    It’s become a staple in our home

  4. This soup is so heavenly! I adore this website. This didn’t last long in my house. Truly delicious with such rich flavors. Cozy yumminess for the chilly fall nights.

  5. I’ve made it twice now. Beautiful flavours and a great meal for vegetarians. This is my new favourite soup recipe. Thanks feasting at home!

  6. What a great recipe! Loved the warm, comforting spices and texture from the lentils. Although I didn’t have any garlic, cilantro or parsley on hand when I decided to make this recipe, the soup was delicious! In place of the missing herbs, I added some chopped fresh mint. I served the soup with lemon, as suggested, which added a nice briteness. I will definitely make this again! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  7. Oh Mmy this soup is delicious!! I found myself craving for more after the first bowl.
    I love the notes It helps when you have to watch certain spices or ingredients.
    Thank you :o)

  8. One of my favorite recipes thus far! The flavors are so rich, hearty, and complex. Simple recipe that feels very healthy to eat. I used rice noodles and will probably use less noodles the next time.

    1. Hi Cindy-We have not tried this- but I don’t see why not? The only concern would be timing- pressure cook long enough for lentils to cook but not overcook the pasta- maybe add the pasta after?

      1. Thanks for the reply, Went for it in the Instant Pot for 7 minutes high pressure and it came out perfect. No more store bought harira soup for me. 5 stars definitely.

        1. Hi Cindy, did you sauté the onions and spices and then add the remaining ingredients into the instant pot together (broth, veggies, lentils, chick peas, and pasta) and cook high pressure for 7 minutes?

          1. Hello Hanaa,

            Yes I did saute the onions, garlic and all the spices first before putting everything else in it. I must say I left out the pasta because i’m not always a big fan of pasta in my soup. Set it on 7 minutes on high pressure with natural release. And it taste even better the next day.

  9. Thank you so much for this recipe! It is by far the best lentil soup I have had…..and I have made multiple recipes, but will search no more! It made a generous amount and could have been easily halved but I chose not to. I made it as written with the exception of saffron and parsley which I did not have in the house. I did make my own veggie stock. I also cooked the pasta separately and we added some to our portions for dinner as we served it. Can’t wait for lunch tomorrow for more!

  10. Am I missing something? Are the chickpeas raw or from a can? How much? Can’t see the chickpeas on the recipe? 😊

    1. Hi Jordarna, Sorry for the confusion, they are listed as garbanzo’s on the recipe. Updated to include both names.

  11. I love this recipe have made it once on the stovetop. I am just wondering if I could get away with slow-cooking it? Would 8 hours on low work? Also, if I use overnight soaked chickpeas, would I need to cook them first, or would they cook during the slow-cooking process?

    1. Haven’t tried the slow cooker, but I bet it would work. The chickpeas should cook in that amount of time, you may need to add a little more liquid.

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