Moroccan Spiced Chickpea and Lentil Soup

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea and Lentil Soup

Recipe Rating: 4.10998
Serves 8
Ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and saffron infuse each spoonful of this savory soup — a hearty combination of lentils, chickpeas, fennel, onions and tomatoes. Great with warm whole wheat pita and a simple salad on the side.
  • Charmoula
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and deveined
  • 1 lemon, Juice and zest of
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Soup
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans chopped tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • saffron threads (optional), Pinch of
  • 4 cups gluten-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dried lentils (green, brown, red or yellow), picked through and rinsed
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas), drained and rinsed
For the charmoula, mix 4 tablespoons of the oil, cumin, garlic, jalapeño and lemon juice in a food processor to make a purée. Pick cilantro leaves from their stems and add to food processor along with zest and salt and pepper. Pulse mixture a couple of times, scraping it down from the side of the bowl in between pulses. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil if needed. The mixture should resemble a rustic pesto. Place in tightly closed container and refrigerate for up to two days.

For the soup, heat oil in a 4-quart pot with over medium heat. Add fennel and gently cooking for a couple of minutes while the fennel releases its natural juices. Add red and white onions and cook until soft and translucent, stirring mixture from time to time, about 12 minutes. Add tomatoes with their liquid and increase heat to high until the mixture comes to a simmer. Add the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, garlic and saffron, if using, and let them infuse the mixture with their flavors for a few more minutes.

Add broth, lentils, cilantro and parsley sprigs, and bay leaves and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add sugar and salt and pepper, stirring the mixture a couple of times. Cover pot and let simmer for about 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add garbanzo beans and cook, uncovered, for another 5 to 7 minutes until heated through. Mix well and season again with salt and pepper. Remove and discard bay leaves, cilantro and parsley. Serve soup hot, with 1 tablespoon of the reserved charmoula on top, if desired.

For a thicker soup, remove about 1 cup of the cooked lentils and garbanzo beans from the soup and process them in blender, adding some extra liquid if needed. Add the blended mixture back to the soup. For a thinner soup, add extra vegetable broth.
Nutritional Info: 
Per Serving: 340 calories (140 from fat), 15g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 730mg sodium, 42g carbohydrates, (10 g dietary fiber, 10g sugar), 10g protein.
Special Diets: 

Note: We've provided special diet and nutritional information for educational purposes. But remember — we're cooks, not doctors! You should follow the advice of your health-care provider. And since product formulations change, check product labels for the most recent ingredient information. See our Terms of Service.