Moroccan Lentil and Garbanzo Bean Soup

Recipe: Moroccan Lentil and Garbanzo Bean Soup

Makes : 6 servings | Soups/Stews Dairy Free , Soups/Stews , Vegan , Vegetarian
Lentil and bean soups are particular favorites of mine because they lend themselves to endless seasoning options. Here, lentils and garbanzo beans (chickpeas) simmer with vegetables and a Moroccan-inspired spice combination, but it would be just as easy to use rosemary for an Italian flavor or saffron and orange zest for a Spanish flair. For a little extra spiciness, add about 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper along with the black pepper. Feel free to vary the vegetables as well; try cubed butternut squash, turnips or zucchini. I favor green, brown, or black “beluga” lentils here since they all hold their shape; red lentils will completely dissolve. Consider making the soup a day ahead; it gets even better once the flavors have married.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more if needed
  • 1 cup dried brown or green lentils
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Harissa, for serving (optional)


  • 1. In a medium pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the ginger, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, salt, lentils, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
  • 2. Add the garbanzo beans to the soup and continue simmering about 10 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. Taste the soup before serving and add additional salt or black pepper if needed. Stir in some harissa or other hot sauce, if using.


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  1. Kaarin Puhala says:

    Sounds amazing. I’m making this asap. I think I have all the ingredients on hand!

  2. Kaarin Puhala says:

    This was fantastic! I used green lentils. I read what you said about red lentils, so didn’t use those….do you have any recipes for red lentils? I have a bag and don’t know what to do with them.

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