Moroccan Harira Soup

Moroccan harira soup is one of these soups that can warm you through and through. It’s full of bold spices – kefta spice blend and harissa in particular – that just delight your taste buds. It’s earthy and spicy, homey, and yet exotic.

The added touch of cayenne pepper brings a little additional heat to the recipe. Feel free to adapt here – remove it completely if you prefer or add more if you love some extra heat. Note, the harissa will still provide a mild spiciness to the soup.

Moroccan Harira Soup

Moroccan Harira Soup

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings 8


  • 2 cans whole peeled tomatoes (28-ounce cans), drained and chopped
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons harissa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kefta spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Plain Greek yogurt and kefta spice blend optional, as garnish


  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  • Saute the onion and garlic in the oil until the onion is soft and translucent (5 to 6 minutes).
  • To the pot, add the kefta seasoning, ground cumin, cayenne pepper powder, and salt. Stir to coat the onion and garlic and allow the seasonings to heat (1 to 2 minute).
  • Add the tomatoes and cilantro and stir well. Allow the base to simmer over medium for 5 to 7 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Add the lentils, harissa, and water then increase the heat to high. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Allow the soup to simmer over low for 90 minutes until the soup has thickened and the lentils are softened. Stir occasionally.
  • Serve once soup reaches its desired consistency. Top with greek yogurt and kefta spice blend (optional).
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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on October 31, 2021 to include new content.
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Kefta seems kind of hard to find/on the pricey side for a spice blend, but also some of the flavors are already present here (cayenne, cumin). Do you think it would be ok to omit?