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Moroccan Lentil and Garbanzo Soup (Harira)

Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup (Harira)

This flavor-packed interpretation of Harira, a Moroccan soup combining high-protein lentils and chickpeas, can be enjoyed any time of year when you want a way to warm up, fast! Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons by Nava Atlas.

Serves: 6 to 8

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 large celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup dried lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
  • 15 – to 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (slice the remainder thinly for garnish if desired)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, chives, or scallion, or a combination
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and saute until the onions are golden, another 5 to 7 minutes.

Add 6 cups water along with the lentils and spices. Bring to a slow boil, then cover and simmer gently until the lentils are just tender, about 30 minutes.

Add tomatoes and chickpeas. Adjust the consistency with more water if needed, and adjust the spices to taste. Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes over very low heat. Stir in the lemon juice and and season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you’d like, insert an immersion blender into the soup to give it a more pureed texture, or leave it chunky. Stir in the fresh herb or herbs of your choice. Serve hot or just warm. Garnish each serving with one or two thin lemon slices if desired.

Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup (Harira)


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  • Reply
    June 18, 2011 at 8:01 am

    I made this last night and it is one of the best soups I have ever had! It is hearty, but not heavy, and the flavors are perfect! My husband struggles with high blood pressure, so often soups are off limits due to sodium content. I love that this one was made with water and called for only one canned ingredient. Thanks for a great healthy recipe.

  • Reply
    June 18, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Thanks so much, Cristal. You can reduce the sodium even more by cooking your own chickpeas. And note that usually organic canned chickpeas are lower in sodium than general brands.

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