This Moroccan Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Rice is so simple to make! It is ready in under 30 minutes, has tons of flavor, is healthy, and uses store cupboard ingredients!
You can leave out the sour cream and make this vegetarian soup vegan, or add in some shredded beef, leftover pork or chicken for a meaty dinner idea that the whole family will love.
Add chili if you like it spicy or keep it mild. Serve with tortillas for a great meal idea! If you love quick and easy soups, then definitely give this a go!
Lentils are a great store cupboard ingredient! They have a long shelf life, work with so many different flavors and cuisines, are inexpensive to buy, and bulk out meal.
You can buy lentils in a variety of colors:
Red Lentils: These range in color from a light red to a yellowy-orange. They are small in size and cook quickly. They are often used in dishes where you want the lentils to breakdown and thicken a dish, like in this Dhal recipe.
Brown Lentils: These are probably the most common lentil found in the grocery store. They range in color from a light khaki-brown to dark brown/black. They have an earthy flavor and take around 20-25 minutes to cook.
Green Lentils: These have a wonderful peppery flavor and take far longer to cook. After 45-50 minutes, they are tender but still retain their shape. They come in a very pale green all the way through to a khaki color.
What lentils to use for Moroccan soup?
For this Moroccan Lentil soup, you want to pick the brown lentils; they will cook quickly and keep their shape.
See below for how to use red/green lentils instead.
You can use storebought or homemade seasoning for this soup. This is my Moroccan spice blend recipe.
If you are using a storebought seasoning blend, check the ingredients for salt. If yours contains salt, then don't add the additional salt in the recipe. Wait until the soup has cooked, then taste and add salt as needed.
Red Lentils: If you use red lentils, then the soup will still work, it will just have a thicker texture when cooked. I used red lentils in this delicious Red Lentil Soup.
Green Lentils: If you are using green lentils, then you can either cook them for 25 minutes in boiling water before adding them to the soup.
Or allow then to cook in the soup for 25 minutes before you add in the rice (with this method you will find the carrot is much softer)
Cooked Rice: If you have leftover cooked rice, reduce the broth by 1 cup and add the cooked rice in when you add in the chickpeas.
Canned Beans: You can substitute the chickpeas with any canned bean. Black beans work well.
Add Chicken - Add cooked shredded chicken with the chickpeas to warm through. Alternatively fry chopped chicken thighs with the vegetables at the beginning of the cook and then simmer in the broth as the lentils and rice cooks.
Add Pork - Leftover shredded pork makes a great addition to the soup. Add it when you add the chickpeas.
Add Beef - Add leftover shredded beef to the soup when you add the chickpeas or serve the soup with slices of seared steak as a topping.
Add Meatballs - Add frozen meatballs to the soup when you add the broth. Or if using raw meatballs, fry them off with the veg and simmer in the soup.
Add extra veg - you can add bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, peas, asparagus, or green beans to the soup. Add them when you add the chickpeas, so they retain their color and some crunch.
Make ahead and Leftovers
You can make this soup ahead of time, but the longer it sits, the softer the rice becomes as it soaks up more of the broth.
If you know you want to make it ahead, you can cook the rice separately and add it to the soup when you reheat it for serving.
If you have any leftovers, then the soup can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The rice will get softer as it absorbs the broth, so you will find it is much more likely to break apart, and you might need to thin the soup with some extra broth.
The soup freezes well, but again I find the rice is a little softer. It doesn't ruin the soup, but it is a different texture.
If you know there will be leftovers; then you can always cook the rice separately and add it to the bowls as you serve the soup. This way, the leftover soup can be kept easily or frozen without rice in it.
What to serve with Moroccan Lentil Soup
I think any soup needs bread! Something you can dunk in and soak up the last bit of soup with.
For this Moroccan soup, I often like to go a bit international and serve tortilla wraps or garlic naan! Or if I want to keep it traditional, then I serve Moroccan flatbreads, which are lovely flaky, buttery squares of bread.
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Moroccan Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Rice
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick celery
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp moroccan seasoning
- ¾ cup lentils
- ½ cup long grain rice - uncooked
- 6 cups broth
- 1 can chickpeas -drained and rinsed
- sour cream
- fresh cilantro
- lemon slices
- Peel and finely chop the carrot and onion. Then thinly slice the celery stick.
1 celery stalk
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-based pan.
1 tbsp olive oil
- Add the chopped vegetables and cook for 5 minutes until softened but not colored.
- Add in the Moroccan seasoning and salt. Stir to combine.
2 tbsp Moroccan seasoning
1 tsp salt
- Add the lentils and raw rice, stir to combine.
¾ cup dried lentils
½ cup raw long grain white rice
- Add the broth/stock to the soup. Bring to a low simmer then cook, with the lid on, for 20 minutes.
6 cups vegetable broth
- Add the drained chickpeas to the soup and cook for 5-10 minutes until heated through.
1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- Serve the soup in deep bowls with some sour cream/yogurt, fresh cilantro/coriander and slices of lemon.