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    Moroccan Lentil Soup

    Moroccan Lentil Soup truly transforms a humble bowl of lentils into a vibrant, tasty meal. It’s a thick, hearty and comforting soup that blends lentils with a mix of delicious spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon. These spices create a warm and inviting flavor that’s just perfect. I also throw in some veggies to make it even more nutritious.

    moroccan lentil soup in two bowls and garnished with sour cream, parsley and jalepenos

    Lentil soup… Close your eyes, what picture comes into your mind? Does it resemble those expensive canned brand names? Sorry to say, but to me those are absolutely inedible. Some watery bland lentil thing with sad looking veggies that tastes like almost nothing. Would you like to change that scene and add some color, texture, thickness and flavor… yeah, tons of flavor… to that bowl of lentils?

    All you need to do is invite a few spices into your life. When I say spices, I don’t mean spicy or hot, just something to bring the flavors that these lentils crave for.

    I am going to make my lentil soup with colorful, warm, cozy and exotic Moroccan spices that are already in your pantry, then topping it off with some delectable toppings. It’s going to change your definition of lentil soup. I am just going to spoil you forever with this kind of cooking.

    What to do? In India I grew up with an array of lentils in all shapes and colors, but they never lacked flavor. We would make any lentils good with our spices and aromatics. Our techniques, of course, helped.

    Just a few days back, in these quarantine times, Jason said he was cooking soup from a lentil based mix he found in the back of the pantry.

    a bag of soup mix

    I was really looking forward to the meal. DUHHH… that was the most unappetizing meal he ever cooked for me. I said “well, that’s it? Just boil the lentils??” He innocently quipped “Oh, I did boil it in a chicken broth for some flavors”. Another duhhh!! He is a mighty good cook, but this boy doesn’t know how to cook lentils.

    I remember the first time I cooked him Indian lentils, my yellow dal, he wasn’t too enthusiastic until he had his first bite. Well, time to teach my husband how to do justice to lentils, as they are so good when mixed with some great ingredients. I decided to go with Moroccan lentil soup, as I just posted some Indian dal a few weeks back.

    close up of a full bowl of our moroccan lentil sou

    Ingredients Needed

    ingredients for this recipe on a white background
    • Lentils – You can make this soup with any variety you have around. Sometimes I use just one variety, and other times I mix a few different ones together. This time, I even tried it with a lentil soup mix, which worked out great. The key is to make sure the lentils are fully cooked through to get that perfect texture in every spoonful.
    • Onion – Chopped. I used Spanish, but you can use any variety that’s in your kitchen.
    • Diced canned tomatoes – Part of the base for the soup.
    • Carrots – A veggie touch.
    • Potatoes – A dash of starch.
    • Spinach – You can substitute kale or other greens.
    • Garlic – So popular in exotic cuisines.
    • Ginger – “Me too”.
    • Moroccan spices – Turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, black pepper, paprika, cinnamon… can you imagine the fragrance these will create when you add them to your pot?
    • Vegetable broth – You can use chicken if you prefer.
    • Cream – I am using heavy cream, but you can use half and half for a lighter option.
    • Olive oil – For cooking your veggies.

    Moroccan Lentil Soup Recipe

    First, I chop up all the veggies and get some olive oil heating in my Dutch oven on medium-high heat. I toss in the chopped onions and let them sauté for about a minute. Then I add the carrots and potatoes, give everything a good stir, and let them cook for another 2-3 minutes. Next, I add finely chopped ginger and garlic, mix it all up, and cook it for another couple of minutes.

    Now, it’s time for the best part – the Moroccan spices. The aroma that fills the kitchen as they hit the pot is just incredible. After enjoying that for a moment, I rinse my lentils and stir them into the mix. Then I add the tomatoes, give everything another good stir, and let it all cook until the tomatoes start to break down, about 5-8 minutes.

    collage showing various steps in making this soup

    I pour in the broth along with two cups of water, then bring everything to a boil. Once it’s bubbling, I lower the heat to medium-low and let it simmer, covered. It’s important to check on the soup every 10-15 minutes and give it a stir to prevent anything from sticking or burning on the bottom. The cooking time can vary depending on the type of lentils I use, but they’re usually perfectly cooked within 45 minutes to an hour.

    Before serving, I always taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, adding a bit more salt if needed, just to make sure it’s perfectly flavored to my liking.

    i just added cream to the soup

    When the lentils are done, I stir in a little cream. This is going to dramatically change the consistency of your soup for the better!

    raw spinach added to the soup

    Last I add in my spinach and cook till it wilts. Now it’s ready to dish it out in a bowl.

    a big potful of moroccan lentil soup

    Topping Ideas

    It’s quite a popular practice in Morocco to add toppings to your soup. These topping will take this soup over the top:

    • Yogurt – This is the most commonly used to season or garnish this soup. Add a dollop of yogurt in the middle, this adds tang and creaminess to the soup. Ahhmm… swirl it around and dig in.
    • Chopped cilantro or parsley – I like both together.
    • Jalapeños and red chili flakes – Though I used lots of spices, none were hot. These jalapenõ roundles and chili flakes add some zing.
    • Lemon wedges – You might like the extra freshness and tang.
    • Chermoula While you’re cooking Moroccan, try this quick and easy condiment!

    Alpana’s Tips

    • Soak Your Lentils: If you have time, soaking the lentils for a few hours before cooking can help them cook more evenly and reduce cooking time.
    • Spice Adjustment: When it comes to spices, I start with the amounts listed in the recipe, but I’m not shy about tweaking them to suit my taste better.
    • Simmering: Be patient during the simmering process. I take my time with it to let all the flavors develop and to make sure the lentils cook through perfectly. If the stew starts to look too thick, I just add a little more water or broth until it’s just the way I like it.
    side view of two bowls of moroccan lentil soup

    Just like that my friends. It’s so easy to add flavors to ordinary mundane things. I refuse to eat those bland lentils Jason cooked me any more. How about you?

    Try it… you are going to get spoiled!

    While you’re here, check out this roundups of the best Mediterranean recipes and lentil recipes.

    PS: Are you my subscriber yet ??

    Moroccan Lentil Soup, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    moroccan lentil soup in a bowl atop the gypsy plate

    Try some of our other tasty soup recipes!
    Zuppa Toscana
    Bahamian Boiled Fish
    Meaty Cabbage Soup
    Greek White Bean Soup
    Loaded Cauliflower Soup
    Finnish Salmon Soup
    Caldo de Pollo
    Pastina Soup

    moroccan lentil soup

    Moroccan Lentil Soup

    Yield: 6 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

    This easy Moroccan Lentil Soup recipe is full of flavor from a variety of warm and vibrant spices. Great pantry staple meal.


    • 3 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 cup carrots, diced
    • 1 potato, diced
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp ginger, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1 tsp cumin powder
    • 2 tsp coriander powder
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 2 cups dried lentils
    • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
    • 2 cups water
    • 4 cups vegetable broth tomatoes
    • 4 cups fresh spinach
    • ½ cup cream
    • salt, to taste


    1. Chop veggies, ginger and garlic.
    2. Heat oil in large pot, such as a dutch oven, over medium high heat. Add onion, sauté for one minute.
    3. Add carrots and potato, stir and cook 2-3 minutes.
    4. Add ginger and garlic, stir, cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Mix in all spice powders.
    5. Rinse lentils and add to pot. Stir and then mix in tomatoes. Cook 5-8 minutes.
    6. Stir in broth and water. Bring to low boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until lentils are cooked, about 45-60 minutes depending on the lentil variety. Stir and check every 15 minutes.
    7. Once lentils are cooked, stir in cream and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted, 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust salt to your liking.


    1. Garnish with plain yogurt, lemon, parsley, cilantro, diced jalapeño and crushed red pepper flakes.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 6 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 278Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 22mgSodium 624mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 9gSugar 6gProtein 9g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

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    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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