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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 (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.

Ingredients in Hariria

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
  • honey 
  • lemon

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

  • 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.


  • 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
  • 2 cans, 28 ounces, 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 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 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.

Keywords: harira soup, harira recipe, moroccan harira soup, moroccan chickpea lentil soup,



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