Moroccan Carrot and Lentil Soup

5 from 3 votes
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Moroccan Carrot and Lentil Soup with warm spices, harissa, and bright strokes of lemon. This cozy vegan soup is rich in fiber and protein, and will warm and nourish you with each bite. Creamy carrot and lentil soup topped with harissa and cilantro in a teal bowl

Now that the temps have dipped below 50ºF here in Denver, we can officially announce the start of SOUP SEASON.

I have many beloved soup recipes here on Dishing Out Health. This Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup is a reader favorite, as is this Nourishing White Bean and Lemon Soup. Both are plant-based, incredibly hearty, and come together in 1 pot.

Those features are the framework of just about every soup I create. And while they’re incredibly easy to prepare, the flavors are anything but basic. 

For this recipe, I wanted a lentil soup that showcased the qualities of what makes lentil soup so desirable: filling but not heavy, nutritious, budget-friendly, and boasting layers of complexity.

How to Make Carrot and Lentil Soup

While you can’t go wrong with a standard carrot and lentil soup, I love the idea of adding moroccan flavors to this one. For example, my favorite chili paste, harrisa, warm spices like coriander and turmeric, and fresh citrus for brightness.

If you don’t have any of these ingredients on hand, don’t worry — the recipe is very versatile and forgiving. I always try to offer substitutes for any ingredients that aren’t household staples for most.

The IngredientsRecipe ingredients on a white board with titles

  • Red Lentils: Of all of the lentil varieties, red lentils cook the most quickly. They also turn the softest, which is a very good thing here, because they make the soup thick and creamy. Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and folate.
  • Carrots: You need 12 ounces of carrots, which amounts to roughly 4 to 5 large carrots, depending on thickness. While you can certainly peel the carrots before, I tried the soup both ways and couldn’t tell much of a difference. 
  • Harissa: This is one of my go-to condiments when I want to add layers of complexity and heat to dishes. I use it liberally and flexibly, but it can vary in heat depending on the region and maker. My go-to brand is Mina, which is available in mild or spicy. 
  • Aromatics: A mix of onion, garlic, and ginger create the aromatic backbone for this soup. I do not suggest swapping the fresh garlic and ginger for ground — they just don’t pack the same punch!
  • Broth: You can use vegetable or chicken broth for this soup.
  • Spices: A mix of turmeric and coriander add warm, earthy notes to the broth. If you don’t have coriander on hand, you can use ground cumin instead. 
  • Cashew Butter: For extra richness, I love adding a few Tablespoons of cashew butter or tahini prior to blending the soup. Alternatively, you can add a generous scoop of Greek yogurt or coconut cream. 
  • Toppings: I love finishing this soup with fresh lemon juice for brightness, pepitas for crunch, and a drizzle of olive oil for richness. 

The Directions:

Step 1: Sauté Aromatics

Heat oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onions; cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, harissa, coriander, and turmeric; cook 2 minutes, until aromatic.Onions, ginger, and garlic sautéing in a pot

Step 2: Add Carrots and Lentils

Stir in carrots and cook 2 minutes. Add lentils, vegetable broth, and salt; bring mixture to a boil. Carrots and harissa being added to a pot of aromatics

Step 3: Simmer Soup

Reduce heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until carrots are tender, about 35 minutes.Broth being added to a pot of carrots, lentils, and aromatics

Step 4: Blend Soup

Carefully ladle the soup into a blender. Add 1 cup filtered water and cashew butter (or Greek yogurt). Secure lid on blender and remove center piece of lid to release steam. Place a clean kitchen towel over the opening to avoid splatters. Process soup until smooth, about 45 to 60 seconds. 

Transfer soup back to the pot and stir in lemon juice. Serve.

*Note: the soup will be quite thick. If you prefer a thinner consistency, stir in 1 additional cup of filtered water.Soup being blended until smooth in a blender

What to Serve with Carrot and Lentil Soup:

This soup is plenty satiating on its own, however I love enjoying it with a chunk of sourdough bread and/or a crisp green salad. It also makes a fabulous counterpart to any sandwich or wrap situation. 

Here are my favorite accompaniments:

How to Store and Reheat:

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm soup in a medium sauce pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until hot. Or, rewarm gently in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds. 
  • To Freeze. Freeze soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Moroccan lentil soup in a teal bowl topped with pepitas

More Healthy Lentil Soup Recipes to Try:

One Pot Curried Lentil Soup (Vegan)

Slow Cooker Golden Lentil Soup

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Lentil Curry

If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates! I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review!

5 from 3 votes

Moroccan Carrot and Lentil Soup

Moroccan Carrot and Lentil Soup with warm spices, harissa, and bright strokes of lemon. This cozy vegan soup is rich in fiber and protein, and will warm and nourish you with each bite. 
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 5

Equipment

  • Large pot with lid
  • Blender

Ingredients  

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup mild harissa, such as Mina brand
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 12 oz. carrots, cut into 1/2-inch coins (peeling optional)
  • 3/4 cup dry red lentils
  • 4 cups (1 quart) lower-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 3 Tbsp. creamy cashew butter or tahini (sub 1/4 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt)
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Optional garnishes: toasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley, extra harissa
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Instructions 

  • Heat oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onions; cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, harissa, coriander, and turmeric; cook 2 minutes, until aromatic.
  • Stir in carrots and cook 2 minutes. Add lentils, vegetable broth, and salt; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until carrots are tender, about 35 minutes.
  • Carefully ladle the soup into a blender. Add 1 cup filtered water and cashew butter (or Greek yogurt). Secure lid on blender and remove center piece of lid to release steam. Place a clean kitchen towel over the opening to avoid splatters. Process soup until smooth, about 45 to 60 seconds. 
    Transfer soup back to the pot and stir in lemon juice. Serve.
    *Note: the soup will be quite thick. If you prefer a thinner consistency, stir in 1 additional cup of filtered water.

Notes

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm soup in a medium sauce pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until hot. Or, rewarm gently in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds. 
  • To Freeze. Freeze soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 700mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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5 from 3 votes

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12 Comments

  1. Emily says:

    I only have powdered Harissa? Would that work in this recipe? It looks amazing!

  2. Jen Zo says:

    5 stars
    Instantly sent this recipe to my carrot loving Dad. I opted for the tahini (you have converted me into a tahini lover). Super easy. Amazing flavor.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      YAY! So happy you were a fan, Jen!

  3. Shelley says:

    Looks delicious! Would an immersion blender work here?

    Thanks!

    1. Jen Zo says:

      I used mine and it worked beautifully.

  4. Laura G says:

    5 stars
    Easy, healthy, delicious!!!

  5. Nancy says:

    Could I sub almond butter for the cashew butter?

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Yes definitely! Enjoy!

  6. Shannon says:

    Second of your soup recipes I’ve made in one day! This was delicious. I couldn’t find harissa at my small town grocery store but I found something called hot pepper cream and it seems pretty close to the same thing.

  7. Celia says:

    I’m not a big fan of soup but this was absolutely delicious. I made homemade croutons to place on top. I’m definitely making this again.

  8. Claudia says:

    5 stars
    I really enjoyed this cozy combination of carrots and lentils but what absolutely raised it to another level was the addition of the cashew butter. I’ve added a sweet-fruity twist with some tomato polpa before serving. Plus, it looked dope :D.
    Winter, bring it on! I’m ready! Thanks, Jamie ;).

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Woohoo! I’m so glad the soup was a hit, Claudia! 🙂