This soup is traditionally eaten to break the daily fast during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Even though Ramadan happened during the summer this year (when Ramadan is celebrated each year is determined by the Muslim calendar), we’re including it here because it’s such a good winter dish.

Hands-on time:
45 minutes
Total time:
1 hour, 45 minutes

Kitchen Gear

Measuring spoons
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Cutting board
Measuring cup
Can opener
Large pot with lid
Heatproof spatula


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 medium carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, or put through a garlic press
1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and turmeric
1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup uncooked green or brown lentils
1 cup cooked brown rice or raw angel hair pasta broken into 2-inch lengths
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from about half the lemon
  Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, for topping


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your kitchen gear and ingredients and put them on a clean counter.

  1. Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When the pot is hot, add the olive oil, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add the cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric, and sauté just until the spices are just fragrant, about 10 seconds.

  3. Add the tomatoes, broth, chickpeas, lentils, and rice or pasta, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until everything is tender, about 1 hour.

  4. Stir in the lemon juice and taste the soup. Does it need more lemon? Salt? Pepper? If so, add it, and taste again.

  5. Serve right away topped with chopped parsley or cilantro.

"Minced" means finely chopped.

"Saute" means to fry something gently in a little oil.


You'll know the soup is boiling when you see bubbles breaking all over the surface. 

"Simmer" means to cook at a very gentle boil.