Moroccan Harira Chickpea Lentil Soup is simple international cuisine that will impress dinner guests. This cheap healthy meal is vegetarian comfort food at its finest.
Hi SoFabFood Readers! It’s Mahy, the foodie behind Two Purple Figs food blog. I’m pumped to share this Moroccan Harira Chickpea Lentil Soup recipe with you today. It’s probably one of my favorite go-to meals when I’m in the mood for a meatless Monday! This cheap healthy meal is vegetarian comfort food at its finest.
You’re probably thinking I love this Moroccan lentil soup so much because I brag about my Moroccan great grandma a lot and her cooking! That certainly does play a role, but honestly every single person who’s tasted this soup has fallen head over heels for it too. It seems like this soup has a universal effect on everyone! You’ll need to try it and see.
What’s so special about this Moraccan Harira?
First of all, when you’re thinking Moroccan anything, think flavor, and plenty of it! So rather than thinking of your average one-pot soup, think Moroccan lentil soup! Although it’s a one-pot wonder, the tiny steps make a difference in the final taste.
The ingredients in this Moroccan Harira are what makes this soup so hearty. Instead of having just lentils or just chickpeas or just barley in a soup, this one combines them all. You’ll get a load of hearty protein and fibre goodness with an amazing taste!
The lentils here not only give the soup a comfort and filling feel, they also thicken the soup. Rather than using flour and making a roux, or adding starches, the soup thickens naturally. No fuss or extra step needed.
Let’s talk about the flavors in this Chickpea Lentil Soup!
This Moroccan lentil soup has a faint tomato base which adds so much character to the lentils and chickpeas without overpowering them. While the main flavor comes from the lentils and some spice, that tomato background balances out the flavors beautifully.
The spices in a traditional Moroccan Harira are paprika, allspice, and a touch of turmeric. Likewise, the fresh herbs add an incredible load of freshness and flavor here. Mainly parsley and cilantro, but I’ve had some Harira with a touch of mint and it was good too!
How easy is it to make this vegetarian comfort food?
Start by sautéing a fragrant mixture of onions, garlic, chopped cilantro, parsley, and some spice.
Once the mixture is golden and fragrant, add in some crushed tomatoes and then some vegetable stock. You can use chicken stock if you’re not concerned with keeping the soup vegetarian.
You’ll need to bring the mixture up to a boil and then start adding your goodies! Lentils, barley, and chickpeas.
At that point, you need to let the soup boil over low heat for nearly an hour until all ingredients are tender. Alternatively you can use an Instant Pot, slow cooker, or pressure cooker to make this Moroccan Lentil Soup.
Once the soup is ready, you’ll add in some more fresh cilantro and parsley and serve right away!
This Moroccan Lentil Soup is such a unique recipe that combines flavor and comfort with hearty filling ingredients. You’ll find every home in Morocco will have their own twist on it. Some would add mint, others would skip the pasta, some add white beans, etc. It’s versatile, tasty, and keeps for a while in the fridge/freezer for a rainy day.
Tips For Success:
- When sautéing the onions and garlic, always add in the spices and let them sauté too. While this may sound obvious, I always mention it. The heat will make the flavors pop from the spices and infuse into the onions and garlic.
- Choose any type of brown, black, or green lentils for this soup. Yellow or orange lentils tend to break easily and shouldn’t be used for this recipe.
- You can add in more beans like black beans or white beans instead of the chickpeas or as an add on with it.
- The chickpeas I used here were canned and rinsed because dried chickpeas take so much longer to cook than the lentils. If you’re using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, you can add in dry chickpeas. Otherwise, canned works best.
- Don’t let the pasta boil for more than 10 minutes in the soup because it tends to break apart and soften quickly.
- This soup will thicken as it cools. For leftovers, you’ll most likely be adding some water to thin it out.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup minced parsley and cilantro
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
- 1/2 cup barley
- 1 cup canned chickpeas
- 1/2 cup small pasta shells
- 1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
- Preheat a large pot over medium-high heat and add in the olive oil.
- Start sautéing the onions for the first 5 minutes and then add in the garlic and spices. Continue sautéing for 2 more minutes and then add in the spices and herbs. Cook the veggies over medium-hight heat for an extra 2 minutes until golden and fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes and stock and season the soup if needed. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat and once it starts to boil, add in the remaining ingredients. Start by adding the lentils and barley. Then add in the chickpeas and allow the soup to cook on medium-low heat for about 50 minutes until the lentils and barley are tender.
- Now add in the pasta shells and let the soup cook for 8-10 mins at most.
- Turn off the heat and add in the herbs. If extra salt is needed, add that in.
- Serve right away with lime wedges.
Home Chef Tip: Store leftover soup in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for up to six months. Reheat and enjoy!
We hope you love this Moroccan Harira Chickpea Lentil Soup recipe from SoFabFood Home Chef, Mahy from Two Purple Figs, as much as we do. If you love this cheap healthy meal, stop by our vegetarian section for more like it. For daily recipe inspiration, subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!