Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup

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  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 pinch saffron (large pinch, crumbled)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup vermicelli, broken (or orzo or other small pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice


  1. In large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in onion and celery and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add cinnamon, turmeric, salt, pepper, ginger, hot pepper sauce and saffron. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas and broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  4. Stir in noodles and simmer, covered, about 7 minutes longer or until noodles are just tender.
  5. In bowl, whisk flour and 1 cup water until smooth. Whisk flour mixture into soup and simmer, stirring often, for 2-4 minutes or until soup is thickened and no raw flour taste remains.
  6. Stir in half of the parsley and cilantro, and all of the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding up to 1/2 teaspoon more salt if needed.
  7. Garnish with remaining parsley and cilantro.