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vegetarian harira soup in bowl

Vegetarian Harira Soup (Moroccan Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas and Lentils)

This Moroccan-spiced vegetable, chickpea, lentil, and rice soup is a hearty one-pot meal the whole family will love. It's vegan and gluten-free, and you can make it as mild or spicy as you want.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Moroccan
Keyword: gluten-free, one-pot meal, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 8 servings
Cost: $15


  • Cutting board and knife
  • Dutch oven or soup pot
  • Wooden spoon


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced (¼-inch pieces; about 1 cup)
  • 3 large carrots (about ¾ pound), finely diced (¼-inch pieces; 1½ cups)
  • 3 or 4 celery stalks, finely diced (¼-inch pieces; about 1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (or harissa or dried red chile flakes, if you like it spicy)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed and picked through
  • cup long-grain white rice, rinsed
  • 2 quarts low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 packed cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
  • 1 packed cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of ½ lemon


  • Place a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Let it heat up for 2 minutes or so, then pour in the olive oil. When the oil sloshes around the pot easily, add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent.
  • Sprinkle the vegetables with the cornstarch, stir for 1 minute, and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt, the black pepper, turmeric, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir for 1 minute, add the rice and lentils, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes. You'll notice a brown coating on the bottom of the pot; that's OK! Just keep stirring for the full 2 minutes so the spices do not burn.
  • Pour in the broth and tomatoes and add most of the parsley and cilantro (set aside ¼ cup of the chopped fresh herbs for garnishing later). Increase the heat to high and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. As soon as the liquid begins to bubble, reduce the heat to medium and partially cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and rice are tender.
  • Stir in the chickpeas, lemon juice, and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Taste and season with more salt, lemon juice, or black pepper as desired.
  • Portion the hot soup into bowls, top each with some of the reserved fresh parsley and cilantro, and serve with a ramekin of harissa sauce for those of us who like some extra heat.