Margarita's International Recipes



Lentil & Chickpea Soup

Many, many years ago I traveled throughout Morocco during Ramadan. Every dinner at a restaurant would then start with a cup of harira a hearty soup of lentils, chickpeas, pasta and meat. I'm not sure how this soup arrived in Djibouti or in Morocco for that matter but Djiboutians serve a very similar version for iftar. Unfortunately this recipe did not work for me. As the ingredients are pretty standard, perhaps the problem is in the proportions. But what I ended up was a very plain soup, lacking layers of flavor. It was basically a serviceable dish. I wouldn't make it again.



  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 12 oz stewing beef, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • a pinch of saffron
  • salt & peppers to taste
  • 2 liters sparkling water
  • 2/3 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 8 oz angel hair pasta
  • 2 lemons, quartered.


Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat, onion, parsley, cilantro, celery, cumin, saffron and salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the sparkling water, bring temperature down to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the lentils and chickpeas and simmer on low, uncovered, for 50 minutes.

Stir in the diced tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for 20 minutes.

Sift the flour into a medium bowl and add 2 cups of cold water. Whisk well and stir into the soup.

Add the angel hair pasta and cook for 10 minutes.

Serve hot with lemon quarters. Squeeze lemon juice to taste before eating.

Adapted from a recipe no longer online.

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