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Harira - Moroccan Tomato & Lentil Soup

This hearty tomato-based soup features lentils, chickpeas, and pasta (or rice) for a filling vegetarian meal or as a starter.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: Moroccan, North African
Keyword: Harira, harissa, healthy, meatless, soup, tomato, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian
Servings: 6 people
Author: The Elegant Economist


  • A large stockpot (5 quarts), or Instant Pot


  • 2 Tbsp good olive oil
  • 1 large yellow (or sweet) onion, grated
  • 1 Tbsp dried ginger, ground
  • tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp turmeric, ground I love Diaspora Co's Pragati turmeric for this recipe
  • ½ tsp coriander, ground
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, ground (or 1 cinnamon stick, whole - remove before serving)
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ Tbsp harissa paste (or more, if you prefer it spicier) I like NY Shuk's harissa with preserved lemon for this recipe
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (2 pints or 946ml) You can also use beef broth here, I use 'Better than Bouillon' brand
  • 28 ounces tinned crushed tomatoes (790g)
  • 2 cups water (1 pint or 473ml)
  • 1 cup green or brown lentils (190g) I use 3/4 brown lentils and 1/4 black lentils for texture
  • 16 ounces chickpeas, tinned - rinsed and drained (454g)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • ¼ cup broken vermicelli noodles or white rice (50g)
  • 2 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
  • ½ cup cilantro (fresh coriander), roughly chopped (20g) plus more for serving
  • ½ cup flat leaf (Italian) parsley, roughly chopped (20g) plus more for serving


  • In your stock pot, over medium heat, add your olive oil. Wait until the olive oil has warmed, then add your grated onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, until it is soft and translucent.
  • Add all of your spices (and more olive oil if needed to coat the mixture), and continue to cook until fragrant (1-2 minutes).
  • Add your tomato paste and harissa, and stir until combined - you'll have a thick paste at this point.
  • Now add your broth, tomato paste, and water. Stir to combine. Add your carrots and dried lentils, stirring well, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer, covered, for 40 minutes until both lentils and carrots are soft. You may need to check it mid-way and add a little more water if the soup looks too thick.
  • Once your carrots and lentils are soft, add your chickpeas and pasta, and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the pasta is al dente, or soft enough for your liking. Stir in your fresh herbs, and salt to taste. Simmer for another couple of minutes, and serve garnished with fresh herbs.


This soup will keep in the fridge for about five days, and freezes well.
I like this garnished with lots of fresh herbs, topped with a little yogurt, and with talami bread served alongside. It is very hearty and suitable as a main meal.