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Moroccan Red Lentil Soup

Moroccan red lentil soup is easy to make, thick and creamy and so comforting. This healthy lentil soup with Moroccan spices is budget friendly and ready in under 30 minutes. Made with mostly pantry ingredients, this spiced lentil soup is full of protein and fiber and great for meal prep.

If you have more red lentils, try this Creamy Cauliflower Lentil Soup or Red Pepper Lentil Soup.

Spoon resting in a bowl of Moroccan red lentil soup.
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Why you will love this recipe

  • One pot meal
  • 30 minute meal
  • Simple, healthy ingredients
  • Great for meal prep or freezer prep
  • Healthy recipe
  • Vegan, gluten free, dairy free
  • Packed with fiber and protein
Ingredients for Moroccan lentil soup in white bowls on marble countertop.

Ingredients

  • Onion – sautéing the onions gives the soup a deep flavor. I recommend using a red onion but yellow or white onions will also work well.
  • Carrot – carrots add a layer of sweetness to the soup, which is a great contrast to the smoky spices in the soup.
  • Garlic – fresh garlic gives the soup so much flavor. If you don’t want to add fresh garlic, it can be omitted.
  • Spices: Turmeric, salt, garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon – this spice combination creates a deep savory flavor with just a hint of sweetness from the cinnamon. It’s smoky, sweet, salty and so yummy.
  • Vegetable broth – vegetable broth adds depth to the soup, it helps it taste like it’s been cooking all day. You could also use chicken broth or stock if you are not vegan or vegetarian.
  • Canned tomatoes – I like to use diced tomatoes, but crushed tomatoes would also work well.
  • Red split lentils – these are often just labeled “red lentils” and are an orange color before cooking. These lentils cook up quickly (under 20 minutes) and get soft and creamy when they are fully cooked.

How to make Moroccan lentil soup

Start by chopping the red onion, thinly slicing carrots and chopping garlic.

Sliced carrots, chopped red onion and garlic on a cutting board.

Preheat a large pot over medium to medium high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil, carrots and red onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until they start getting soft. Once the carrots and onions are soft, add chopped garlic and cook 1 minute.

Add the spices to the veggies in the pot and cook 30 seconds – 1 minute to toast the spices (it takes the bite out of the spices).

Spices added to pot with sauteed veggies.

After 1 minute, add ½ cup of vegetable broth and scrape the bottom of the pot with a spoon. This helps ensure the spices don’t burn.

Veggies in a pot with vegetable broth after scraping the pot.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and turn the heat up to high. Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat down to low and put a lid on the pot. Cook for 12 minutes stirring occasionally.

Lentils, tomatoes and vegetable broth added to pot before boiling.

After the lentils are soft, turn off the heat and blend 1/2 to 3/4 of the soup using an immersion blender (or carefully use a blender).

Pot of Moroccan lentil soup with immersion blender in the soup.

Top tips

  • Blend 1/2 to 3/4 of the soup to get that creamy texture. I like to leave a little bit of the soup unblended for different textures in the soup. If you prefer, you can blend the entire pot.
  • If using a regular blender to blend the soup, be sure to blend the hot soup in batches (or allow it to cool before blending). Do not use a bullet blender for this (the heat will build up). Use a regular blender and remove the cap at the top of the blender to allow some of the air to release as it’s blending. I recommend holding a towel over top to ensure that you don’t get soup all over the kitchen.
  • This soup can also be made with green lentils, however you will want them to cook for 15 minutes, covered, once you turn the heat down from boiling.
  • Use a large pot – the lentils do double in size when cooked, so it’s important that you are using a pot that is large enough.

Other healthy lentil soup additions

  • Harissa for spice and deep flavor
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for spice
  • Coconut milk  or greek yogurt- add about 1/2 cup to make this recipe even more creamy and rich.
  • More veggies from frozen cauliflower rice or spinach (fresh or frozen), roasted red pepper
  • Squeeze of lime juice or lemon juice at the end. I’m not really someone that enjoys a citrus squeeze on soup but many people love the freshness it provides.
Large white pot filled with lentil Moroccan soup with ladle resting in pot.

Topping ideas for lentil Moroccan soup

  • Coconut milk, coconut cream, cashew cream or yogurt
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • Cilantro
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Pickled onions or red onions
  • Crushed pita chips or crackers
  • Jalapeno (fresh or jarred)
  • Avocado

Common questions

What are red lentils?

Red lentils (sometimes called red split lentils) are red lentils that have been split in half, so cook much faster. These lentils typically get very mushy once cooked, so are great for soups where you will be blending up the soup (like this one).

Can you use other lentils to make this Moroccan soup?

Yes, you could also use green (brown) lentils instead of red lentils. Green lentils will need to simmer longer (at least 15 minutes after bringing to a boil) until soft.

Bowl filled with Moroccan lentil soup with coconut milk on top.

Can you make this soup in the instant pot?

Yes, this soup also cooks up quickly in the instant pot.

  • Saute veggies 5-7 minutes until softened
  • Add the spices and stir well.
  • Turn off saute mode. Add 1/2 cup of broth to scrape any spices or brown bits off the bottom to the pot (otherwise you will get a burn notice)
  • Add the rest of the ingredients but don’t stir. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes then let pressure naturally release 5 minutes before manually releasing the pressure.
  • Blend 1/2 to 3/4 of the soup with an immersion blender (or carefully transfer to blender and blend in batches).

Can you make this soup for meal prep?

This Moroccan lentil soup is great for meal prep. This recipe can easily be doubled and stored in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat.

Other spices to use

Some other spices that would be great in this soup include:

  • Curry powder – curry powder contains turmeric and many other spices, and is often a bit spicy.
  • Garam Masala – this would give the soup a very unique flavor, a bit sweet and savory and so delicious.    
  • Coriander – coriander seeds (are the seeds from cilantro) and give the soup a slight note of citrus.
  • Smoked paprika – would give the dish a deep smoky flavor

Storing leftovers

  • Fridge: Store this red lentil Moroccan soup in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: Allow the soup to cool then transfer to a freezer safe container. I like to use Soupercubes to portion out leftovers into ½ or 1 cup servings. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer safe bag (I like to use Stasher bags) for up to 3 months.
Bowl filled with Moroccan red lentil soup, a spoonful of soup being lifted out of the bowl.

More lentil recipes to try

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Moroccan red lentil soup with coconut milk drizzled on top.

Moroccan Lentil Soup

Moroccan red lentil soup is easy to make, thick and creamy and so comforting. This healthy lentil soup with Moroccan spices is budget friendly and ready in under 30 minutes. Made with mostly pantry ingredients, this spiced lentil soup is full of protein and fiber and great for meal prep. This recipe is vegan, gluten free and dairy free.
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: dinner, Soup
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: lentil Moroccan soup, moroccan lentil soup, moroccan red lentil soup
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat a large pot over medium heat.
  • Chop the onion, thinly slice the carrots and finely chop the garlic.
  • Once the pot is hot, add the olive oil, onion and carrots and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • After 5-7 minutes, add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
  • After 1 minute, add the spices and stir well. Cook 30-60 seconds.
  • Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and scrape the bottom of the pot so that the spices don't burn.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients (be sure to rinse the lentils). Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
  • Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat down to low and put a lid over the pot. Cook for 12 minutes.
  • After 12 minute, the lentils will be soft. Turn off the heat and blend 1/2 to 3/4 of the soup with an immersion blender or blender (carefully).

Equipment

Notes

Top tips
  • Blend  1/2 to 3/4 of the soup to get that creamy texture. I like to leave a little bit of the soup unblended for different textures in the soup. If you prefer, you can blend the entire pot.
  • If using a regular blender to blend the soup, be sure to blend the hot soup in batches (or allow it to cool before blending). Do not use a bullet blender for this (the heat will build up). Use a regular blender and remove the cap at the top of the blender to allow some of the air to release as it’s blending. I recommend holding a towel over top to ensure that you don’t get soup all over the kitchen.
  • This soup can also be made with green lentils, however you will want them to cook for 15 minutes, covered, once you turn the heat down from boiling.
  • Use a large pot – the lentils do double in size when cooked, so it’s important that you are using a pot that is large enough.
Storing leftover soup
  • Fridge: Store this red lentil Moroccan soup in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: Allow the soup to cool then transfer to a freezer safe container. I like to use Soupercubes to portion out leftovers into ½ or 1 cup servings. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer safe bag (I like to use Stasher bags) for up to 3 months.
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
277
Fat
 
6
g
Carbohydrates
 
41
g
Fiber
 
16
g
Sugar
 
6
g
Protein
 
18
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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