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Moroccan Lentil Soup

Greenletes / Recipes / Moroccan Lentil Soup

This one-pot Moroccan Lentil Soup is packed with big bold flavors, with just 300 calories and close to 20 grams of plant-based protein!

From October through May, I’m practically always down for a big bowl of soup. To me, there’s nothing better than throwing a bunch of ingredients in a pot and ending up with one delicious and simple recipe that I can eat all week long. And I LOVE a good lentil soup.

If I see lentil soup on a menu, I will undoubtedly order it. As a matter of fact, this recipe is inspired by a Moroccan restaurant in the East Village of Manhattan, called Cafe Mogador. My husband and I went there on one of our first dates, and we continue to make the long trek down there whenever we want a special meal. Before visiting this cafe, I had never tried Moroccan food, but I was sold upon first bite. The food is so simple and homey, and it contains bold flavors, like harissa, cumin, and cinnamon.

What is harissa?

If you’ve never tried harissa before, be warned that it’s spicy. As a matter of fact, this soup has a little kick to it, but that’s what brings out the magnificent flavors. Harissa is a spicy chili paste, which usually also has garlic, olive oil and spices, like cumin, coriander, caraway and mint.

It’s used in Middle Easter and North African Cooking. Harissa pairs really well with other everyday spices, like cumin and cinnamon. The spiciness actually brings out the other flavors, making the soup taste really robust and complicated (even though it isn’t).

Why are lentils good for you?

If I had to choose a favorite plant-based protein, lentils would be really high on the list. With 9 grams of protein in half a cup of cooked lentils, they offer more protein than many other beans and legumes. Plus, lentils are loaded with other good-for-you nutrients, like iron, folate and fiber. [See the list of plant-based sources of iron here.]

Not to mention that lentils are EXTREMELY affordable. According to data from The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost for a serving of lentils is just $0.10. You can’t even get gum for a dime anymore! Compare that to $1.49 for a serving of beef or $0.63 for a serving of chicken, and lentils are a complete steal!

One-pot meal

 The last amazing thing about this recipe is that you can make it all in one pot! First, you brown the veggies, then add spices, then lentils. Simmer for 40 minutes and enjoy!

The recipe is completely vegan, but I topped it with some Greek yogurt to balance out the spiciness. If you’re vegan, feel free to omit that topping. Grab a whole wheat pita and dive straight in!

If you’re looking for other soups to try in one-pot, check out these recipes:

5 from 1 vote
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Moroccan Lentil Soup

Course Main Course
Keyword lentil soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 332 kcal
Author Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 white onion chopped
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 plum tomato chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoon harissa paste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water

Optional toppings

  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the oil, onion, carrots, tomato and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Add the harissa, cinnamon, cumin, salt and parsley to the pan. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils, vegetable stock and water to the pot and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. (Optional) Top each bowl with a tablespoon of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Nutrition Facts
Moroccan Lentil Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 332 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 1930mg84%
Potassium 906mg26%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Fiber 22g92%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 10972IU219%
Vitamin C 11mg13%
Calcium 89mg9%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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You're going to love this spicy, warm and hearty Moroccan Lentil Soup with Harissa during the cold fall and winter months! It's made in one pot for easy preparation and clean up, and it's packed with big bold flavors. All for 300 calories, with 14 grams of plant-based protein! #lentilsoup #moroccanlentilsoup #harissa #plantbasedprotein #vegansoup #veganrecipe #vegetariansoup #vegetarianrecipe

20 Comments

  1. Charlotte

    Can you freeze this soup?

    Reply
    • Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD

      Absolutely. The lentils may get a little soft when you reheat, but it should still taste good. Just stick in the microwave or thaw in a saucepan!

      Reply
  2. Shelly

    Do you use harissa paste or powder?

    Reply
  3. Allison Wood

    What are the toppings? I don’t see them listed.

    Reply
    • Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD

      I added a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and parsley flakes. It would also be good with fresh chopped cilantro. I will add those to the recipe now. Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  4. Cathy

    Can this be done in the crock pot?

    Reply
    • Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD

      I haven’t tried, so I can’t be 100% certain. But I think it would work. I would try it on low for 2-3 hours. If the liquid evaporates, just add a little bit more. Let me know if it works!

      Reply
  5. Michael A. Orlando

    I like to try the recipe, But what is harissa paste an dwhere can i get it?

    Reply
    • Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD

      Harissa is a spicy chili paste. You can find it in the cultural aisle of most supermarkets and Trader Joe’s has also started selling it recently.

      Reply
  6. Lindsey

    Love the Moroccan flavors in this lentil soup – totally elevates one of my favorite soups!

    Reply
  7. Tawnie Kroll

    mmm I love Harissa!! Pinning this so I can make next week!

    Reply
  8. meme inge

    I am obsessed with this soup! It has such great flavor!

    Reply
  9. Liz Shaw

    Harissa is a seasoning from the goddesses. It’s amazing how professional and well-rounded this recipe tastes; it never gets old or boring!

    Reply
  10. Lorie

    MMMMMM!!! My hubby won’t eat lentils, but that’s okay, I don’t have to share, ha!

    Reply
  11. C Stanley

    This is a lovely food recipe, thank you for sharing it with us.

    Reply
  12. ashok

    5 stars
    My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.

    Reply

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I’m Natalie Rizzo, an NYC-based Registered Dietitian.

My mission is to help everyday athletes fuel their fitness with plants.

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