Moroccan Lentil Soup

Aug 3, 2020


We call this lentil soup “Moroccan” simply because we added some traditional Moroccan spices, to supply flavor that is usually provided by either meat broth or the addition of a ham hock in the best made of lentil soups. And while harissa is Tunisia’s renowned very hot chili sauce, it is frequently used in Moroccan cooking and even thought by some to be Moroccan in origin. “Perhaps we should be calling this North African Lentil Soup!” jokes Sasha Muniak, founder of Mangia. In any event, and recipe title aside, this soup is exotically flavored and satisfying; it is not overly spicy, even with the full complement of harissa. 


2 cups crown lentils

1 small onion

2 garlic cloves

1 medium-large tomato

2 thin medium carrots

12 flat-leaf parsley sprigs

12 cilantro sprigs

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 cups chicken broth

½ teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

1 tablespoon salt

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon saffron threads

Serve with: Mixed green salad

  1. Rinse the lentils
  2. Peel, trim, and cut the onion into large chunks. Peel and trim the garlic. Wash and cut the tomato into large chunks. Peel and trim the garlic. Wash and cut the tomato into large chunks. Peel, trim, and dice the carrots into small cubes. Tie the parsley and cilantro sprigs together with kitchen twine. 
  3. In a blender or food processor, puree the onion, garlic, and tomato. 
  4. In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the puree, and saute it until fragrant. Add the carrots and cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is somewhat reduced—enough to see the bottom of the pot when you stir.
  5. Add the lentils, chicken broth, chopped ginger, cumin, harissa, salt, pepper, turmeric, saffron, and the fresh herb bouquet. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, for about 45 minutes. Taste the lentils for doneness, and continue cooking, if necessary, until soft. Correct the seasonings, discard the herb bundle, and serve.

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