Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup

"One of the best vegetable soups I've had in ages! Extremely easy to make and very cheap (leave out the saffron if you don't already have any)! This lemony, peppery soup is traditionally enjoyed at the end of a day of fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. This is a vegetarian version of the thick and aromatic soup. More like a stew. From the 2/2007 issue of Canadian House & Home."
photo by jsv828 photo by jsv828
photo by jsv828
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photo by Kumquat the Cats fr photo by Kumquat the Cats fr
Ready In:
1hr 10mins




  • In large heavy saucepan or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in onion and celery and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Add cinnamon, turmeric, salt, pepper, ginger, hot pepper sauce and saffron. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas and broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  • Stir in noodles and simmer, covered, about 7 minutes longer or until noddles are just tender. In bowl, whisk flour, and 1 cup water until smooth. Whisk flour mixture into soup and simmer, stirring often, for 2-4 minutes or until soup is thickened and no raw flour taste remains.
  • Stir in half of the parsley and cilantro, and all of the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding up to 1/2 tsp more salt if needed. Garnish with remaining parsley and cilantro.

Questions & Replies

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  1. lalalucy
    Loved this soup! I didn't use the saffron or fresh herbs. I ate leftovers at work for two days and my coworker wanted the recipe because it smelled so good. She made it that night and agreed it was fantastic. We both thought the lemon juice really brought the flavors of the soup together. Will definitely be making this again!
  2. Nikoma
    This was good. Easily made vegan by replacing the butter with EVOO. I like a thick soup, so I left out the water, and mixed the flour with 1/2 cup of the hot broth. Used the orzo, otherwise followed to a T. Surprisingly we found the lemon juice rather overpowering. Confusing given the small amount! I would cut it back to half, taste it and then add to your liking. On the other hand I'm sure it will all meld over night and it won't be as strong as leftovers tomorrow. Nice fiber and protein punch here. very filling meal!
  3. Psychologist Perth
    This is a relatively easy recipe to make. Very satisfying, healthy food.
  4. Kasha
    Just saw this, went in the kitchen and made it. Cut the amount of cinammon a bit. Fast, easy and inexpensive to make. I had some chicken breast that I chopped up and tossed in too because I didn't care if it was vegetarian or not. Will certainly make again.
  5. Miss Genevieve
    this was good, I do plan on making this again but not often, my family didnt seem to enjoy it as well as i did. thanks for sharing.


  1. Stephen H.
    I used about four slices of fresh ginger, instead of the dry. . Also I increased the lentils to 1 1/2 cups and eliminated the flour for thickening.
  2. jsv828
    Just made this today and it is excellent! I followed the recipe except I added the 1/4 tsp cumin as suggested on earlier reviews and instead of using the flour/water mixture as a thickener I added 1/2 a roasted eggplant (leftover from dinner last night) which I think added depth and worked to thicken without a roux. Also for the pasta I used a whole wheat Acini di Pepe. I will definitely be making this again!
  3. Rose M
    This was a great soup. I only made a few small modifications. I didn't have fresh parsley or cilantro; I used dried parsley instead. Fresh would have been better but not crucial. I didn't have any pasta so I used rice, worked quite well. I omitted the saffron, not sure if it would have been better. I also added 1/2t of cumin. This was a great recipe and I think that it would have been great just as written too.


<p>Clockwise from upper left, my dear friends Cranberry, Quincy, Kumquat and Kiwi. All of our cats were born in the wild and adopted by us. Zaar Chefs I have met so far: Elmotoo, justcallmeToni, ~Rita~, Midwest Maven, Bird&amp;Buddha (both of them) and most recently, Ms*Bindy from upstate New York:) Wonderful, sweet, friendly people and great chefs! Most relevant thing to mention here is that I am a vegetarian, and recently became a&nbsp;vegan&nbsp;(almost 100%). To put vegetables and other things not meat or fish on the table I work as an actuary (in my case anyway, a combination of statistician, number-cruncher and/or programmer). For fun I like to travel. Just came back from&nbsp;Namibia, a peaceful democracy in Africa with lots of animals! Got some terrific pictures of lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, rhinocerous, hyenas, all kinds of antelopes, giraffes and zebras. Namibia is the second most sparsely populated country per square mile, just behind Mongolia. Update:&nbsp; We went to Italy this Spring.&nbsp; We had lots of pizza and pasta.&nbsp; The pizza is so much better in Italy, particularly the crust.&nbsp; The Amalfi coast was absolutely beautiful.&nbsp; Spectacular natural scenery (Canada and Alaska are really beautiful, Patagonia in Chile is sublime, Iceland is unique) has been my latest passion as far as travel destinations but I have seen quite a few big cities too (Paris, Berlin, London and Madrid to name a few). On my bulletin board at work I keep a list of every country I've visited (other than the U.S. of course). So far I've made it to five continents: Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and North America of course. I've got only two other continents to conquer:) I don't usually have difficulty finding vegetarian dishes here in the U.S. or overseas, but finding vegan dishes is much harder. I have no kids, just cats, Kumquat, Cranberry, and more recently Quincy and Kiwi. They are purebreds, of the breed alley caticus (okay, American shorthair I guess). Our cats are not vegetarians, though my boyfriend (significant other, long-term partner, whatever) is. I am a friend of all animals both tamed and wild. In addition I am a freethinker and my boyfriend studies philosophy. Either way, we get along pretty well.&nbsp; Also, please allow me to say that my BF and I recently bought a condominium in NYC.:)&nbsp; Pet peeve? Okay, I don't like public scenes, especially parents yelling at their children, lovers' spats, etc. If it must be done please do it in private:D Participation &amp; Awards:</p>
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