Dear Brandy,

It’s your birthday, and as you’ve probably gathered, a few of us “got together” to throw you a virtual bash.

It was my job to make the soup course. I thought it would be fun to cook a Moroccan lentil soup, since that’s what we ate when we had lunch together in December.

moroccan lentil soup

This soup, which I made in my crockpot, doesn’t really taste anything like the other, but it’s still really good, especially with some of the homemade Harissa on top.

Brandy: I hope we get to have soup together again soon, and I wish you all the best this year…I just know it’s going to be an amazing one for you :)

Recipe for Crockpot Moroccan Lentil Soup with Harissa

Yield: 10+ servings

Harissa is a Northwest African chili paste. You can buy it in in the international section of some markets, but I really prefer to make it at home (the storebought versions I've tried were way too salty). If you opt not to make the Harissa, you can add a bit of cayenne pepper to the soup recipe to give it a little more heat.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

*1 tablespoons olive oil
*1 large onion, peeled and chopped
*4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
*2 organic carrots, chopped
*2 organic celery ribs, chopped
*one 28 ounce can organic plum tomatoes, with liquid
*2 cups red lentils, rinsed, picked over, and drained
*1/2 cup organic raisins
*4 cups vegetable broth or water
*1 teaspoons ground cumin
*2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground tumeric
*2 teaspoons paprika
*2 teaspoons ground ginger

For the Harissa:

*1 ounce dried hot chiles (I used guajillo), soaked in hot water for about 30 minutes to soften
*1 fat clove of garlic, peeled
*pinch of sea salt
*1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more if needed to blend the harissa
*1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
*1 small handful of cilantro

Directions:

For the soup:

1. Place all ingredients in your crockpot. Turn it to the "low" setting, and cook for 7-8 hours (or even a bit more, if you like). Feel free to taste it and adjust the spice level and/or the amount of liquid while the soup is cooking.

2. Serve topped with a spoonful of the Harissa, which adds a nice little punch of spice.

For the Harissa:

1. Process all ingredients in a blender until a fairly smooth paste forms. Transfer to a small glass jar and top with a little more olive oil. Store the harissa you don't use up as a garnish for the soup in the refrigerator; it will keep for 3-4 weeks.

slow cooker red lentil soup

Additional courses made for Brandy’s Virtual Surprise Party:
Salad: Michigan Salad from Living Mostly Meatless
Pasta: Quinoa Linguine with Cherry Tomatoes and Bacon from Cooking with Books
Meat: Beef Machaca Tacos from Farm Girl Gourmet
Cheese: Cheese Plate from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body
Dessert: White Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake with Caramel Glaze from Creative Culinary

 

29 Comments

  1. 1

    Brian @ A Thought For Food — February 6, 2012 @ 8:34 am

    Just gorgeous! This is the kind of stew that can warm you up on even the coldest of days. Marvelous, darling!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

      Thanks Brian!

  2. 2

    Marnely Rodriguez — February 6, 2012 @ 8:57 am

    Love the spices and harissa in this soup! I agree with Brian, this will definitely warm you up on a cold winter night! Happy Birthday to Brandy!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

      Glad I had an excuse to make this soup ;)

  3. 3

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — February 6, 2012 @ 9:05 am

    What a fun idea… Happy birthday to Brandy!! And, love this soup…. Perfect way to celebrate!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

      Thanks Jen!

  4. 4

    Bev Weidner — February 6, 2012 @ 10:16 am

    LOVE that harissa. I’ve never made it before. NOW I WILL.

    And happy birthday to Brandy!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

      I’ve seen many different versions of harissa online, but this one’s very easy. And tasty.

  5. 5

    Cheese Plate | Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body — February 6, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    [...] Course- Healthy Green Kitchen Salad Course- Living Mostly Meatless Pasta Course- Cooking With Books Meat Course- Farmgirl Gourmet [...]

  6. 6

    Barbara | Creative Culinary — February 6, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    I recently used red lentils for the first time. Now I’m dying to do it again…this sounds so exotic and good Winnie. Now if we could all really be together I would share mine if you would share yours. :)

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

      That would be so great…your cheesecake looks so fab ;)

  7. 7

    Julia — February 6, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    Winnie, this looks great! I just got off the phone w/ my husband and frantically said, “you’re still at the store, right? Grab canned tomatoes and onion. I found a soup I’m gonna make us for dinner tomorrow.” No really, that just happened, which means this soup is gonna happen! Yea!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

      Yay! Let me know how you like it ;)

  8. 8

    Katherine Martinelli — February 6, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    What a sweet idea! Happy birthday Brandy! I absolutely adore harissa and just made it myself for the first time. I can’t wait to try it in this soup! Looks gorgeous.

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

      Did you post your harissa? I’ve noticed there are a number of different ways you can make it…

  9. 9

    Jessie — February 6, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

    This is so creative, and pretty. I wish I could try it.

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

      Thanks Jessie!

  10. 10

    Kathryn — February 6, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

    Happy birthday Brandy, what a wonderful soup to bring to the party!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

      Thank you Kathryn! Your sweet comments are always appreciated ;)

  11. 11

    Katherine Martinelli — February 7, 2012 @ 1:13 am

    Replying to our condo above – no, haven’t posted it yet but soon! There are definitely a gazillion ways to make it. I love the fresh cilantro in yours!

  12. 12

    Charissa — February 8, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    Beautiful photo…love the presentation!
    I love ethnic soups…they seem so much flavourful than ordinary soups!

  13. 13

    Oui, Chef — February 14, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    Oohh…a perfect ski weekend treat, thanks for sharing this lovely!

  14. 14

    From the Kingdom of Morocco « Newest Obsession — March 9, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    [...] Slow Cooker Red Lentil Soup with Harissa (Serves 8-10) Original recipe from Healthy Green Kitchen [...]

  15. 15

    Orange-Scented Lentil Soup — October 19, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

    [...] Moroccan Red Lentil Soup with Harissa from Healthy Green Kitchen [...]

  16. 16

    Anna Cordova — November 22, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

    I love this recipe, I have made it twice now, Thanks!!!

  17. 17

    Rachel — January 17, 2013 @ 9:32 am

    I’ve been scouring the internet for some good crockpot recipes (trying to find vegetarian and gluten-free that’s not chili is a bit tricky), and this looks perfect! I might try adding some chopped butternut squash or sweet potato I’ve got in my pantry too. Thanks!

  18. 18

    Orange-Scented Lentil Soup | Appetite for China — January 28, 2013 @ 9:58 am

    [...] Moroccan Red Lentil Soup with Harissa from Healthy Green Kitchen [...]

  19. 19

    Heather — February 25, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

    Love lentil soup in the winter. Definitely warms me up especially with a drizzle of harissa. I agree that store bought brands are a bit salty but I found one that’s just right. If I don’t have time to make a fresh batch I buy mina harissa. It’s my fav brand available in stores. Thanks for the recipe!

  20. 20

    Everyday Frugal: 19th – 21st June, 2013 | yooeel — July 21, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

    [...] a splash of lemon juice and soy sauce and some of our home made harissa paste.  We love making this lentil stew and harissa paste, but find that we always have way too much harissa to store in the fridge.  Frozen in ice cube [...]

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