This delicious Moroccan lentil soup recipe is the perfect winter warmer, using warming spices such as turmeric and cumin. It’s a vegan soup that is hearty, nutritious, and the ideal lunch or supper meal.
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About This Moroccan Red Lentil Soup
I fell head over heels in love with Moroccan cooking during a trip in 2019. Ever since our return, Moroccan-style cooking has been part of meals a couple of times a week. I picked up many soup ideas while visiting Morocco, all of which inspired me to create this creamy red lentil soup.
I am always on the lookout for recipes I can include in our bean-friendly diet, so this Moroccan lentil soup is the perfect addition to our family recipes.
I love everything about Moroccan food, and I adore the flavor combinations of the deep, earthy spices, especially their use of cumin in almost everything!
Cumin is a staple ingredient in a lot of my cooking. I love how much depth it adds to a dish. In fact, I think I use it in most of my soups and stew recipes.
Check out some of our other healthy Moroccan recipes including a Moroccan-Inspired Harissa Lentils Stew Recipe, Moroccan Harissa Stew With Pumpkin And Chickpeas, and this Flavorful Moroccan Lentil Tagine With Carrots And Cauliflower.
Ingredients For Moroccan Red Lentil Soup
Aside from cumin, the rest of the ingredients needed for this Moroccan red lentil soup recipe include items that you will likely already have sitting in your pantries, such as onions, celery, garlic, and carrots. You’ll also need olive oil, preferably Moroccan olive, but don’t worry if you don’t have any.
I like to add cilantro stems to my soup because they add a lovely freshness. Just be careful not to add in the leaves, as they turn dark when cooked and won’t look very attractive in the finished soup. However, I would advise saving the leaves to garnish before serving.
Handy Tip: To get the most flavor from your cilantro, cook the stalks with onions and garlic.
Seasoning Your Moroccan Red Lentil Soup
I’ve already talked about cumin, the most powerful flavor in this recipe. As well as cumin, you will also be using paprika, turmeric, and cinnamon. This combination gives a unique rounded flavor which provides sweetness and earthiness.
You also want to make sure you season your soup well with salt and pepper. It’s all down to taste how much you add, but try not to be too shy with the salt. It’s needed in this soup to meld all the flavors together. Check out this recipe for a lemon lentil soup with Middle Eastern flavors as an alternative.
Other Ingredients and Lentils
Red lentils are perfect for soups because they cook quickly and turn to a soft consistency, making them easier to blend and leaving your soup with a smooth consistency.
The lentils are cooked in vegetable broth (or chicken if you’re not vegetarian) and diced or canned tomatoes for acidity and flavor. A dash of lemon juice at the end of the cooking process also gives a great extra bite. If you like a little spice, you could also toss in a pinch of red pepper flake.
Lastly, finish your soup with those fresh cilantro leaves you set aside earlier and a sprinkling of harissa if you like. Don’t forget, Moroccan cuisine is not meant to be overly spiced, just a nice warming heat to finish the taste.
Making This Moroccan Red Lentil Soup Recipe
You’ll love how quick and easy it is to make this creamy red lentil soup. The only thing that requires extra attention is your lentils, as they sometimes tend to burn or stick to the bottom of the pan if left unattended.
Start by warming a large pan or medium dutch oven on your stove over medium-high heat, and drizzle in the olive oil. Once warm, add garlic, onions, celery, coriander, and cilantro stalks. Stir well, and cook for around 5-7 minutes until the garlic begins to color.
Add the paprika, turmeric, and cumin, as well as the salt and pepper, and mix everything, cook until the aromas of the spices are released, only about 30 seconds. Quickly add in your red lentils and stir so that nothing has the chance to stick to the pan or burn. Sweat the lentils for a couple of minutes.
Add in the vegetable broth, and using a wooden spoon, scrape up the seasonings from the bottom of the pan; this deglazing is crucial for the final flavor.
Add in the tomatoes, and stir everything well.
Cooking The Red Lentil Soup
Once everything is in the pan, allow your soup to cook for around 25-30 minutes until the lentils are cooked, and the vegetables are soft.
Keep an eye on your soup throughout the cooking process, and check that your lentils aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. I advise checking every five minutes or so.
As soon as your lentils are cooked, and everything is nice and soft, remove your pan from the heat, and using an immersion blender, blend the soup directly in the pan until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency.
Taste your soup, add a dash of lemon juice and a pinch of chili flake (if required) and add more salt and pepper to your taste.
Divide into bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and a drop of harissa. I like to serve ours with a wedge of crusty bread or pita bread, which may not be typically Moroccan, goes perfectly with this recipe and can be picked up from any grocery store.
Moroccan Red Lentil Soup Recipe
Vegan Moroccan Lentil Soup
This vegan creamy red lentil soup recipe is made using the traditional flavors of Morocco, such as turmeric and cumin. Topped with spiced harissa and fresh coriander, it’s a vibrant dish that will make the perfect mid-week lunch or light dinner.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 stick of celery, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp cilantro stalks
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cracked black pepper
- 2 cups rinsed and drained red lentils
- 1 15-ounce can of chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- Harissa to taste
- Over medium heat in a dutch oven or large stockpot, warm olive oil and add carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and cilantro stalks and cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Add turmeric, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper, and mix everything well before immediately adding the lentils. Stir to coat the lentils, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the broth, and deglaze the pan using a wooden spoon.
- Add in the canned tomatoes and stir. Cover the soup and leave to cook for around 30 minutes, checking every 5 minutes to avoid the lentils sticking to the pan.
- After 30 minutes, when everything is soft, remove the pan from the heat and blend in the pan using an immersion blender.
- Stir in the lemon juice and check for seasoning. Add red pepper flakes if desired.
- Divide into bowls, and serve with fresh cilantro and a blob of harissa.
- Serve with crusty bread or toasted pita.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 159Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 821mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 8g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.