The first time I made this Moroccan chicken and lentil soup it was “surprise soup.” It was a cold day, and I looked around in my kitchen, saw lentils, chicken, and carrots, and thought, there must be a soup in here someplace! So, I started paging through my cookbooks. I found a recipe for harira, which is a Moroccan lentil and lamb soup, in The Book of Jewish Food (a wonderful cookbook which is part recipes and part travelogue). I didn’t have the lamb, but I figured I could adjust it and use chicken instead.
Incidentally, if you don’t have lentils, white beans will work just fine. Either dried or from a can is OK. I have used both, and both are delicious.
The advantage with lentils is you don’t have to soak them! If you want to go with beans, try my quick soak method to speed up the process.
By the way, the leaves on top of the soup are fresh ginger from my windowsill garden (just for a splash of color). They add lots of flavor too. All I did was plant some roots that were sprouting.
Tools and Ingredients for this Recipe
I have a similar pot in a smaller size, but I really lust after the bigger one. Mine also doesn’t have the built-in strainer (which seems very handy). It does have the glass lid, which is great because I can easily see how close the food is to boiling without lifting the lid and getting a face full of steam. It’s great for soup or chili or a big pot of pasta when company is coming.
Turmeric is related to ginger and has a warm, peppery flavor. Like ginger, it can be savory or sweet, and can be used in both dinner and dessert recipes. It’s great in soups, on chicken, lamb, or mixed in with scrambled eggs. It’s also an anti-inflammatory.
More Lentil Soup Recipes
Just one pot required for a warm, comforting soup. Packed with lentils, carrots, and smoky ham for lots of flavor.
Another way to use lentils, this time with beans and sausage. Just the thing for a chilly, winter day.
Fusion food! This soup is Britain meets India. The UK brought the meat and the Tamils contributed the spice. Note this is usually made with red lentils, but rice works too.
Lamb and lentils pair beautifully together. This soup is low-simmered on the stove (go do something else while it cooks and your kitchen becomes fragrant with tomatoes, lamb, and thyme).