Vegan Harira soup is the most comforting Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup, full of vegetables, spices and flavor. Making this harira soup vegetarian is a great way to prepare it more easily, enjoy it when you’re cutting down on meat, and still have a hearty and delicious meal in itself!
What is Moroccan harira soup?
It’s a traditional Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup, with a tomato base and chickpeas, lentils, warm spices, and tangy lemon juice. The flavor combination is unbeatable! It’s enjoyed year round, but especially significant in Ramadan.
The reason It’s often made with chicken or lamb, but I made a vegetarian and vegan harira soup. It’s so comforting, and you won’t miss the meat in this.
Why should I make vegan harira soup?
This meatless harira soup is so hearty, it can definitely suffice as a meal on its own. The chickpeas and legumes offer a great source of protein and fiber.
It’s healthy and so full of flavor that you won’t feel you are missing out by having this as a meal!
The soup follows a few easy to follow steps and the end result is show stopping.
Moroccan soup has an exotic flavor profile, but it’s so comforting that it’ll appeal to all taste buds. It uses easy to find spices and ingredients, everything you’ll already have in your pantry.
It’s vegetarian, vegan, and easily gluten free if you use cornstarch instead of the flour, and use gluten free noodles or rice instead of the vermicelli.
What ingredients do I need to make this?
The legumes: Chickpeas and green lentils. Filing and healthy! I used canned chickpeas instead of soaking dry ones and adding more work.
The veggies: Onion, celery, and carrots. A wonderful veggie base for any soup or stew.
The herbs: Fresh cilantro (coriander) and parsley are trademarks in this soup and give such fresh and zesty flavor.
The spices: Instead of using a pre made spice mix, or some harder to source Middle Eastern spices, we simply use salt, pepper, red chili flakes, cinnamon powder, and turmeric powder. Taste and adjust once the soup is done simmering, and add a little more salt and pepper if needed.
The base: The tomato sauce, and vegetable broth. You can use ready made vegetable broth, or vegetable stock dissolved in water.
Lemon juice: Quite a lot! It gives the soup a tangy, delicious flavor. You can taste and adjust according to preference.
Vermicelli noodles: These are optional. Some people use rice instead, some people don’t add any rice or noodles. I think this big handful of vermicelli noodles really helps complete the soup and make it more of a meal. Feel free to substitute gluten free noodles, rice, or leave out entirely.
Flour and water: A traditional way to thicken the soup. It’s known as a tedouira. I added enough to get my desired consistency, which is not as thick as a stew, but not a very loose liquid- you can tell in the video in the recipe card how thick I got mine to be.
How do I make vegan harira soup?
- I prefer pre-soaking the lentils, just while I prepare the rest of the ingredients to give them a head start when it comes to cooking time.
- Chop up all your veggies, and saute them in olive oil for 6-8 minutes until onions soften.
- Add the spices, the fresh herbs, the tomato sauce and stock and boil, then add the chickpeas, and drained lentils and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Add the vermicelli, which only needs a few minutes to cook, at which point you add the lemon juice and the flour/water thickener.
What to serve Harira soup with?
You can serve this with some pita bread or thicker bread, but this stands up very well on it’s own.
Storing leftover Harira Soup:
Leftover soup will last very well in the fridge 3-4 days. It’ll thicken in the fridge, so add a splash of water while reheating. Reheat on low-medium heat to avoid scorching the soup at the bottom of the pot.
Harira soup made WITHOUT noodles can also be frozen for 3-4 months in an airtight container in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight, or just place the frozen block of soup in a saucepan on low heat and it’ll thaw quickly. If you added the vermicelli noodles already, you risk them breaking down when frozen and thawed.
Recipe tips and tricks:
- Don’t forget to add the lentils to a bowl of water to soak while you prep the rest of the ingredients, to make sure they cook through faster.
- You won’t need to cook the vermicelli for long at all until it’s soft and cooked through, so just give them a good 3-4 minutes on the stove at the very last stage of the recipe.
- The final stage of adding the flour/water mixture is what’ll thicken the stew just a little to give it that comforting velvety finish.
Harira soup FAQs:
The original recipe calls for flour and vermicelli noodles, both of which contain gluten. To make gluten free harira soup, use cornstarch instead of flour to thicken the soup, and either omit the noodles or add a gluten free version instead.
Yes! It’s packed with vegetarian protein, fiber, and vitamins from all the different legumes and vegetables. It’s a great soup that’ll stand on its own as a meal or can be part of a Middle Eastern spread.
In order to best freeze harira soup, freeze it before adding the noodles and add those in when you are heating up the frozen soup- bring to a boil for a few minutes. This’ll keep those thin, delicate noodles from breaking down.
For more delicious soup recipes:
Vegan Harira Soup
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch red chili flakes
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped coriander(cilantro)
- 1 can tomato sauce 15 oz (430g)
- 7 cups vegetable stock or 2 stock cubes dissolved in 7 cups water
- 1 can drained chickpeas 15 oz (400 g)
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1/2 cup vermicelli noodles 50 g
- 2 lemons, juiced 1/4 cup juice
- 2 tablespoon flour, dissolved in 1/4 cup water* use cornstarch if gluten free
- Start by adding the lentils to a bowl of water and soaking as you prepare the rest of the ingredients, this helps them cook through faster.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and add the onions, celery and carrots. Saute for 6-8 minutes, until onions soften and turn golden brown.
- Add all the spices, the chopped parsley and chopped coriander, the tomato sauce, and the vegetable stock. Bring the pot to a boil, then add the drained chickpeas and drained lentils. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until chickpeas and lentils are tender.
- Add the vermicelli, and let it boil for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add the lemon juice, and the flour water mixture. Let it simmer another minute or until it thickens, then taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.