Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup, a classic called Harira in Arabic, showcases a compatible duo of legumes. It can be served all year round, but is especially appealing as a transitional early fall soup, using fresh tomatoes.
Harira isn’t always vegan, but we won’t go there. In some regional variations, a third legume, usually fave beans, is added. It’s a favorite soup during the period of Ramadan.
Lentils are among the most nutritious, abundant, and diverse legumes grown all around the world. They’re the most crave-worthy as a soup ingredient. Learn more about this versatile legume in this site’s Guide to Lentils.
Complete the meal: Serve with fresh pita bread. Since this is a filling soup, practically a stew, a salad is enough to round out the meal. A grain salad like quinoa tabbouli is a good choice. Or, skip the salad and go straight to a fruity dessert!
Recipes is adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
More Moroccan-inspired recipes to explore:
- Moroccan Vegetable Stew
- Vegan Moroccan-Style “Chicken” Stew
- Moroccan Carrots
- Moroccan-Inspired Tofu with Apricots, Almonds, & Olives
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 large celery stalks, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup dried brown or green lentils, rinsed and sorted
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 to 2 teaspoons grated fresh or squeeze-bottle ginger, to taste
- 5 cups water
- 2 cups diced ripe tomatoes, or one 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, to taste
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- 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 sauté until the onions are golden, about 5 to 7 minutes longer.
- Add the lentils, spices, and water. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently until the lentils are just tender, about 25 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas, and lemon juice. Adjust the consistency with more water if needed (though let it remain dense, almost stew-like), and adjust the spices to taste. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes longer over very low heat.
- Stir in the parsley, then season with salt and pepper.
- If time allows, let the soup stand for an 30 minutes to an hour to develop flavor, then gently heat through as needed. Or, serve right away. Garnish each serving with one or two thin lemon slices and extra parsley.
Another soup featuring chickpeas …
Here are more delectable vegan soups & stews.