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Harissa Spiced Moroccan Vegetable Soup

Serves 6.


    Harissa Spiced Moroccan Vegetable Soup

    This delicious soup is chock full of vegetarian goodness and packed with hearty flavours. The harissa spices heat the taste buds in a myriad of ways, but the true depth of flavour comes from soaking dried chickpeas in witbier, a delicious brew that’s beautifully smooth and refreshing.



    • Dried harissa spice is a blend of cumin, chilies, coriander, garlic, mint, caraway, cayenne, and salt. It’s found in gourmet food shops or well-stocked grocery stores. Also available online.
    • Cooking chickpeas from scratch is well worth the effort, given the results. Double or triple the quantity, adding plenty more water for soaking and cooking. Drain and spread out on a cloth-lined baking sheet. Blot dry and freeze in small containers. Perfect for soups, hummus, or tossed into salads or stir-fries. Don’t forget to add baking soda to the water when cooking, as this helps tenderize the chickpeas.

    Best pairing suds

    Summertime dishes spiced with complex harissa flavours and laced with a hint of citrus pair well with light-bodied and refreshing craft Belgian wheat beers (witbier). Their distinct citrus flavours finished with stone fruits are ideal beverages to quaff.


    Harissa Spiced Moroccan Vegetable Soup


    • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) dried chickpeas
    • 2 cups (500 mL) witbier (white Belgian wheat beer)
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) coconut oil
    • 2 cups (500 mL) diced sweet onion
    • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) diced celery
    • 3 large carrots, scraped and chopped
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried harissa spice (see Tip), plus extra
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) black pepper
    • 6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable or chicken stock
    • 680 mL bottle good quality unseasoned tomato sauce
    • 1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
    • 1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
    • 1 cup (250 mL) dried green lentils
    • 1 lime, cut into wedges


    Per serving:

    • calories265
    • protein13g
    • fat5g
      • saturated fat3g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates40g
      • sugars21g
      • fibre14g
    • sodium332mg



    In large bowl, combine chickpeas with 3 cups (750 mL) cold water and beer. Cover and set aside at room temperature to soak for up to 24 hours.


    Drain, rinse, and place chickpeas in large saucepan with bay leaf, salt, and baking soda. Cover with plenty of water to exceed 3 in (7.5 cm) above the chickpeas. Bring to a boil. With lid ajar, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 30 to 90 minutes. The amount of time will depend on the freshness of the dried beans and how tender you like them. When done as you like, drain well. Chickpeas can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen until ready to make soup.


    In large, heavy saucepan, heat oil. Add onion, celery, and carrots; sauteu0301 until onion is softened and begins to turn golden. Add spices, salt, and pepper, and stir to coat vegetables. Stir in cooked chickpeas, stock, tomato sauce, and half the chopped parsley and cilantro. Bring to a boil. With lid ajar, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.


    Stir in lentils and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to medium-low and simmer for another 20 minutes until lentils are tender but not mushy. Add a splash of water if soup is too thick. Add more harissa spice to taste, if you wish.


    To serve, squeeze some lime juice into each serving and sprinkle with remaining fresh parsley and cilantro. Delicious with a small glass of witbier on the side.


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    This recipe is part of the Brewed Flavours collection.



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