Like most soups, this Moroccan lentil soup recipe gets better with time as the complex seasonings have time to develop. Make it a day ahead if you can--this easy slow cooker/crock pot recipe variation makes it a cinch to get the soup cooking while you do other things. Source: EatingWell Magazine, Soup Cookbook

Joyce Hendley


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine onions, carrots, garlic, oil, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker (see Tip). Add broth, water, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until well combined.

  • Cover and cook until the lentils are tender, 4 to 5 hours on High or 8 to 10 hours on Low.

  • During the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir in spinach. Just before serving, stir in cilantro and lemon juice.


Tip: For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

To make ahead: Stir in spinach (Step 3), cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Stir in cilantro and lemon juice just before serving.

Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker

Nutrition Facts

128 calories; 1.1 g total fat; 0.2 g saturated fat; 450 mg sodium. 406 mg potassium; 21.3 g carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 7.6 g protein; 5115 IU vitamin a iu; 29 mg vitamin c; 45 mcg folate; 62 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 21 mg magnesium; 1 mg thiamin;

Reviews (49)

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50 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 18
  • 4 star values: 17
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 7
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
Made this in the crock pot on low setting over night-woke to such a lovely aroma. I did double the spices and omitted the salt-used farmers market tomatoes, peeled and diced by hand. My soup did not turn the lovely golden color shown in your film and photos but hands down this is a lovely soup. It is not the traditional thick greyish soup I am used to but it is a very tasty soup and will be made again, also was wondering if the chickpea dumplings featured in the October 2019 issue would taste in this? Just a thought- again I really enjoyed this soup! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
After reading some of the reviews I added more spices and salt. Did this in my instant pot and it turned out great. Definitely doing this again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made this on the stove top and did not add cilantro and lemon juice and I found it to be delicious I did however add a bit of salt. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
After reading a few reviews I soaked the lentils left out the water used fresh tomatoes w/juice. I first made half batch it was excellent.I had a bowl froze the remainder. Second batch I added Aleppo chile pepper and Ikea frozen veggie balls. I invited neighbors for lunch. With a lite green salad and garlic toast. They gave this soup...10 stars!!!!! Yes I will make it again!Thanx for sharing!raf Read More
Rating: 4 stars
The soup was bland but my lentils were fine. Certainly you could cook the lentils in advance or soak them overnight. I agree spices need to be 1.5 to 2X the recipe amount and an addition of salt would help. Full of nutritious vegetables. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Looking at this recipe it became immediately apparent that there were a few things that I'd need to adjust - first all the spices need to be upped to about 1.5x their current level. Secondly cumin and salt are must-have additions. Also the lemon juice needs to be more - that small amount in 8 cups of liquid? Negligible. Once I did that this soup turned out perfectly! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
I found this soup bland. I will try to salvage it with more spices. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
I followed this recipe as published but the end result was rather disappointing. I think you should remove this one from your site. I won't make this one again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Hey guys you need to soak lentils over night. Amazing rec... Read More
Rating: 3 stars
I really wanted to like this looked delicious and smelled wonderful as it was cooking. But it was just meh.... Before cooking I re read the ingredients several times and thought it strange that salt was not listed so I did add it. It didn't help....I won't make it again. However if you decide to give it a go make sure to cook the lentils ahead of time. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I loved the flavors of this soup and the vegetables were delicious. I had the same problem as Maria Tuttle...the lentils just didn't cook. I had my slower cooker on high for 9 hours and they still weren't right. I think next time I will cook the lentils separately. Otherwise it was delish. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I did not make any changes to the recipe - it is very good but i agree it could be a bit more flavorful; however i had one major problem. The lentils did not cook properly! i just couldn't figure it out; i've eaten lentils a bunch as a child not so much of late. After the failure i googled that either the lentils were old... or there could be a problem cooking them with the acidic tomatos. Anyway i then cooked up a separate batch of lentils (alone); dished out lentils into my bowl and added the soup on top -- MUCH better and I managed to save the large pot of soup! I didn't read all the review but curious if anyone else had problem with the lentils cooking in the crockpot? Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This recipe is INCREDIBLE! The most delicious soup I have made yet! I am planning on making this at least once a month probably more times than that. I made some changes to the recipe so the texture was more curried than soup-y but it had incredible flavors. Here's what I did: 1 cups minced carrots 4 cloves garlic minced 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground turmeric teaspoon ground cinnamon teaspoon ground pepper 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable stock 1.5 cups water 1.5 cups minced cauliflower 1 cups lentils 14-ounce (0.5 can) diced tomatoes 1 tablespoons tomato paste 2 cups minced fresh spinach I put everything in my crock pot for 9.5 hours and served. Before serving I minced 1 bunch minced fresh cilantro to store and keep for later servings and mixed in a spoonful of it to mix in with my bowl. I also added some lemon juice to taste right before eating. It was heavenly. I put basically everything in my mini food processor and it really worked for this recipe. I loved loved loved it. Thank you Joyce! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
I do understand that this is supposed to be a low fat/sodium/calorie. With that said apparently I don't enjoy low fat/sodium/calorie??. Sooo I took heed of the advice offered by many others in this review and doubled the spice... still I found it meh at best... so I added a couple of serrano peppers some sugar to taste I drained some of the broth and added a can of coconut milk and some butter. Shazam I have a delicious soup with a nice mix of heat and sweet...mmmmm?? PS. I love hot spicey food so if you don't you may not want to add the heat.?? Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Per other reviews I added more spices (I usually do anyway!) and a cinnamon stick and paprika. I cooked green lentils on high for 4 hours before adding the rest of the ingredients just to be sure they were done then finished off the rest on low for about 6 hours. At the last minute I decided that the recipe would really benefit from ground lamb and I used fresh Swiss chard and threw in somediced sweet potatoes too. I will definitely make this one again! Even the one year old ate it (I used a touch of cayenne pepper...have to tone down the heat these days). My husband loved it too! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Used red lentils. Also added a touch of cayenne and a half t smoked paprika. Only had one can of diced tomatoes and used a spoon of organic ketchup to add color since I didn't have tomato paste. Did it stove top since my crock pot was too small. Simmered covered two hours. The spinach rocks! Needs some salt in the bowl. I believe the flavor will improve overnight. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Positives: I got everything ready the night before so just put it in the crock pot and went about my day. Healthy! Negatives: It was fine...not good not bad. I added chili paste when I served it to give it more flavor. I love trying new recipes and love lentils but won't make this again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I will definitely make it again all my friends loved it. My changes are to make it with kale and add cerrano choles Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I absolutely loved this. I didn't make any adjustments except that I set my slow cooker for 4 hours but it needed much more time. Next time I'll set it for 8 hours but other than that I'll definitely make this again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
It was good. Couldn't get the 7th grader to like it though. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
great with some additions Added some butternut squash way more spices than the recipe recommended a few chunks of salted pork and a little garlic salt. My husband who loves spicy food added Sriracha sauce to his and it tasted great. We used some cilantro in a tube at the end skipped the spinach as we didn't have any. Pros: easy can be altered depending on ingredients at hand Cons: needs more spices than recommended Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great soup Made this soup during a blizzard and substituted broccoli since we had no cauliflower; also left out dried coriander since we didn't have that. Very easy very tasty. My kids liked it (though my teenager thought it needed more spice ). A great addition to my regular rotation of dinners. Pros: easy delicious Cons: more spice Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Nearly Perfect Really excellent recipe! Great flavor nice and healthy. To get the optimum flavor I would recommend doubling the spices. I also added some cayenne to give it a nice kick. Turned out really really well! Pros: Easy Healthy Cons: can be bland Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Similar to a lentil soup on my website I make a similar lentil soup in my slow cooker but use a mixture of prepared Jamaican and Lebanese spices. My version is very spicy so for those who did not find this spicy enough you are welcome to look at the recipe on my site Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great if you double the amount of spices I halved the recipe but kept the same amount of spices (so essentially doubled the amount of spice the recipe called for). As I let it cook in the slow cooker i tasted it periodically and added salt a few shakes more black pepper and a spoon more of cumin and coriander powder. It got a really strong taste! I ended up adding about a fourth of a cup extra of water and a fourth of a cup extra of broth (I used the Trader Joes variety which in my opinion is the best veggie broth that i've tried and has the least watery consistency). Like me you might have to halve the recipe (except for the spices) for it to fit in your slow cooker if you have a small one. Highly recommend taste testing halfway through the cook time so you can add more spices to your taste/ more water. It does have a more stew like consistency but it was really flavorful!!! I highly recommend you make it if you follow these modifications otherwise i'm sure it will turn out bland. For more kick add in a few teaspoons of crushed chili powder. Pros: flavorful healthy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Love This Easy Taste of North Africa! Like others I decided to swap out the spinach for another green. I used escarole as I had bought the lentils thinking I'd do a traditional Italian-inspired lentil soup with it and decided I'd like to try something different and found this recipe. I did the slow cooker on low method - couple issues - my vintage slow cooker (avocado green circa 1970) wasn't big enough to fit all the ingredients and even on low for 10-12 hours I felt the lentils needed a bit more cooking. I'm used to my slow cooker being a bit small so from the start decided to leave out the 28oz. tomato can until next morning when I knew I'd finish it off on the stove with the escarole. Turned out GREAT and definitely agree the fresh cilantro and lemon juice should be added as served to give that contrast of fresh to the fully cooked. Not sure about other reviews saying this was bland as I had ample flavor and the cinnamon at least for my taste buds is what makes it uniquely Moroccan/Northern African so I can imagine leaving that out. I even added a full stick of cinnamon to the ground in the recipe as well as a couple bay leaves. It did turn out closer to a stew than a soup which I expected and just added more water to get to the consistency I wanted. (That could also be from me using a full 16oz bag of lentils = 2 cups versus the 1.75 cups the recipe calls for...couldn't see the point of handing on to half a cup of lentils in my cupboard. Looking forward Read More
Rating: 1 stars
Bland and Boring This soup is bland and boring. I think it might benefit from more salt and fat. Pros: Easy Convenient Cons: Boring Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Variation on a theme I made this again with fewer carrots and cauliflower and left out the tomato paste and cinnamon. I doubled the cumin and put in 12 cloves of garlic. Served with a dollop of sour cream and some jalapenos and it was delicious. Somewhat reminiscent of the spices in the braised pork and salsa another Eating Well favorite of ours. Pros: Warm and filling Cons: Not spicy enough Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Bland but fixable Upon reviewing the list of ingredients and measurements I knew immediately that this recipe would require triple the seasoning. One teaspoon of cumin will do nothing for 1 3/4 cups of lentils! After adjusting the seasoning the final product was yummy and well-received by my family. Pros: The basic recipe was good clean and filling. Cons: I had to up the seasoning big time. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Nice flavor; roasted the cauliflower Will make this again. We roasted the cauliflower and added it as a topping instead of cooking with the soup. Soaked the lentils in hot water for 10 minutes and rinsed before adding to the slow cooker. Pros: Nice spice mix Cons: Rinse the lentils don't just add Read More
Rating: 4 stars
moroccan lentil soup although I soaked the lentils for 4 hrs prior to starting the crockpot the lentils remained crunchy after 18 hrs! I had to simmer the soup for 45min on the stove then the lentils were cooked. It tasted great when finally finished Pros: tasty healthy Cons: lentils didn't cook Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I thought the soup was mighty tasty as is. I am from Arizona and now add Jalapeno to most of my soups and casseroles. My Nebraska friends would rather I leave the heat out though. My guests add the protein of their choice (if any) at the end to keep my vegetarian friends very happy. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Good base soup needed to deviate from the recipe though. The recipe is a good base or Lentil soup but I find that it comes out a bit bland if you follow it to the dot. To combat this I used chopped Kale instead of Spinach and Paprika instead of pepper. So much better! It added a little extra flavor where the broth initially came up short. I also think that you should add the cilantro and lemon while cooking (same time as Spinach / Kale). Introducing those ingredients during cooking gives the soup so much more time to mellow out. Altogether though I am sure I'll make this again! It came out fabulously. Pros: Easy Aromatic Healthy Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly Cons: Not much flavor Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Good went to great with heat I added 1 jalapeno & 2 tsp of red pepper flakes Pros: Easy Cons: Needs heat Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Smells wonderful but lacks in taste I was so happy with the recipe while it was cooking--easy to throw together smelled wonderful etc. But unfortunately it was rather dull in flavor. However I'd give it a shot again using the suggestions from others (like skinless chicken thighs). Not sure what vegetarians can do. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Love this! I love this soup! The lemon and cilantro really bring out all of the flavors. Pros: Packed with veggies easy Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Yummy and Warm I loved this soup. I also added zucchini instead of cauliflower and used a mix of green and red lentils. It is incredibly warm (probably the cinnamon) and is perfect for a cold winter day. Makes the house smell amazing as well! will make again. Pros: healthy comfortable warm Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Very good with modifications This one is for sure going to be saved in my recipe book. I added double the amount of seasoning and about 3/4 cup extra lentils (we like thicker soups). I also didn't add cinnamon (not a fan) and substituted it for a curry seasoning blend and some hot sauce instead. Dreaming of my next bowl with a hunk of bread:) Pros: great flavor easy good for you Cons: add double the amount of seasoning. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
AMAZING RECIPE I made it a little thicker by adding more lentils and served it over rice! Delicious!!!:) A new family favorite. Even my 3 and 5 year olds loved it. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Where are the chickpeas? Just wondering why the picture shows chickpeas when there are none listed in the recipe? Read More
Rating: 4 stars
awesome I skipped the cauliflower (didn't have any) & instead used leftover roasted garden vegies from the night before. This added lots of flavours and textures to the soup - more of a stew actually. Also used kale instead of spinach Pros: easy nutritious filling Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Best Vegetarian Lentil Soup I have made I was looking for a vegetarian lentil soup with lots of flavor but no heat. This one fit the bill. I used zucchini in place of cauliflower and ended it towards the end. Also kale rather than spinach. The seasoning came through beautifully. Can't imagine why some found it bland. Pros: Lots of flavor with out being hot Cons: none Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Bland....needs help Followed the recipe wound up with a large pot of soup that had little character. Tried lots of different ideas to make it interesting e.g sour cream Thai peanut sauce hot sauce etc. Never found the magic formula. Maybe someone else will and post it. Pros: Lots of good stuff in it Cons: Per recipe way too bland Read More
Rating: 3 stars
A little bland...but then I doubled the spices and added salt. I found this recipe to be very good once I adjusted the spices added some salt (as I too used homemade stock) and added chicken legs and thighs. I also substituted kale for spinach and it worked great! Used a couple cups. Spices definitely needed to be at least doubled except for the cilantro. This worked and was not overpowering. I will make again with my adjustments. Pros: Nice subtle flavors Cons: Needed a little more spice. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great slow cooker soup recipe I used homemade stock so it really needed salt but it was otherwise fabulous. My 9 mo is eating it for lunch right now. It's even better the next day. Pros: Love that nothing has to be precooked it just all goes in the slow cooker. Fabulous flavor. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Great base to customize to your liking Made only 1/2 recipe to try it for the first time. Did it on the stove and after heating the spices in oil at start of cooking thought it was going to be really flavorful. After adding the rest of ingredients and simmering found it to be pretty bland. For 1/2 recipe (4 cups liquid) ended up using: - 1.25 tsp cumin - 3/4 tsp coriander - 3/4 tsp turmeric - 3/16 tsp cinnamon - 1/2 tsp black pepper - 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper - 1/8 tsp paprika - salt to taste Added just the right amount of spice and a few of us added a little more heat at the table. Would be great to add: chickpeas; zucchini; kale; browned ground turkey chicken or lamb; couscous barley or whatever grains - this is a great dish to use up odds and ends in your pantry or fridge:) Pros: great way to use up vegies grains beans etc Cons: a bit bland as written - needs salt more of the spices and some heat Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Excellent & Easy - Vegetarian as well! Made with frozen cauliflower & spinach. Otherwise to recipe - was excellent!!! Very tasty wouldn't even know it was vegetarian. Pros: Easy & very tasty Cons: None Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Bland Bitter Vegetable Soup I love Eating Well recipes and I really wanted to like this soup. I love lentils turmeric & cumin and all the vegetables in this recipe...but this just wound up very bland and even a litle bitter. It was almost inedible. Maybe it was lacking salt? I doctored it up with some salt pepper and curry powder and so our leftovers are at least edible now! Pros: Healthy Cons: Bland Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Very Yummy Had all the ingredients on hand so whipped this up yesterday. did stove top not crock pot. Really good and will be making again. Pros: easy fast healthy Read More