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This soup is traditionally eaten to break the daily fast during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. 
Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 8 Servings

kitchen gear

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


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, scrubbed or peeled and 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


  • 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.
  • Add the cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric, and sauté just until the spices are just fragrant, about 10 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes, broth, chickpeas, lentils, and rice or pasta, and bring to a boil. (You'll know the soup is boiling when you see bubbles breaking all over the surface.) Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until everything is tender, about 1 hour.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and taste the soup. Does it need more lemon? Salt? Pepper? If so, add it, and taste again.
  • Serve right away topped with chopped parsley or cilantro.


"Minced" means finely chopped.
"Saute" means to fry something gently in a little oil.
"Simmer" means to cook at a very gentle boil. 
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