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Mediterranean Lentil Soup

This hearty Mediterranean Lentil Soup is a fusion of Middle Eastern, Moroccan, and Israeli flavors. With earthy hawaij seasoning, this soup combines ground lamb and fresh produce for a stew that packs in the nutrition without skimping on deliciousness. Serve alongside my Mediterranean Chickpea Salad for a full meal experience!
Course Dinner, Main, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Comfort Food, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Moroccan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 576kcal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup leeks white parts, chopped
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons hawaij
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups green lentils rinsed
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • ¼ cup harissa paste w/ preserved lemon
  • 2 ½ cups baby spinach chiffonade
  • 1 cup greek yogurt for serving
  • 1 fresno chile sliced, for serving
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro roughly torn, for serving


  • Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and leeks, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot and bell pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the ground lamb and cook until no longer pink, breaking up the meat as it browns, about 5 minutes. Add the hawaij, cumin, coriander, and nutmeg, then stir for 1 minute. Add the broth, lentils, sweet potatoes, and harissa paste with preserved lemon and stir until combined. Bring mixture to a low boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 45 minutes, or until lentils are cooked and potatoes are softened.
  • Adjust seasoning as desired, then stir in spinach until wilted and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, red chiles, and cilantro.


  • I use a hawaij seasoning blend from New York Shuk, but you can create your own mixture using turmeric, cumin, black pepper, coriander, cardamom, and cloves.
  • I also incorporate New York Shuk's harissa paste with preserved lemon, but if you only have traditional harissa paste on-hand, add in 2 teaspoons of lemon zest and a pinch of sea salt to mimic the preserved lemon.
  • If you only have harissa powder on-hand, start by adding 1 tablespoon to the soup with the regular seasonings and after simmering, adjust to your desired level of heat. With the paste as listed, there should be a nice punch of heat, but it shouldn't be overwhelming.
  • Feel free to use ground beef instead of lamb if you can't find any locally. 
  • I recommend grating whole nutmeg instead of using ground, the flavor is superior!


Calories: 576kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 1226mg | Potassium: 1239mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 16980IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 7mg