Chorba adas (Algerian lentil soup)

    1 hour 20 min

    This is a vegan variation of the Algerian lentil soup called Chorba adas. Although it's meat free it will provide plenty of proteins thanks to the lentils. It also contains lots of vegetables and a blend of spices and herbs that will fill the house with delicious scents.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 onions, minced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 500g carrots, peeled and sliced (about 6 carrots)
    • 400g celery stalks, thinly sliced
    • ½ teaspoon paprika powder
    • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 650g red lentils, sorted, rinsed and drained
    • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 500g yellow courgettes, diced (about 2 courgettes)
    • 500g green courgettes, diced (about 2 courgettes)
    • 1 heaped tablespoon cornflour
    • 2 tablespoons plain flour
    • 450g passata
    • ½ or 1 teaspoon harissa paste
    • ½ bunch fresh coriander, minced

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

    1. Heat the oil in a large cooking pot. Add the onion and garlic and fry till they start to soften. Add the carrots, celery, paprika, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper.
    2. Mix well and cover with water. Allow to simmer, lid on, over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
    3. In the meantime, cook the lentils for 10 minutes in unsalted boiling water in a large cooking pot, uncovered.
    4. Add the potatoes to the vegetables, then add the yellow courgettes and green courgettes. Add water to cover and cook, lid on, until the vegetables are soft, a further 20 to 25 minutes.
    5. When the lentils are cooked, drain them, rinse them, and drain them again. Add to the vegetables and thin the soup with additional water.
    6. Take a ladleful of liquid from the soup and stir it with the cornflour and flour till dissolved. Add the passata and harissa. Allow the soup to simmer and thicken for 15 minutes. Add the chopped coriander, season to taste and serve hot.


    Red lentils cook very quickly, while other lentils will take longer to cook, so adjust accordingly. Some prefer to cook the lentils in the pot with the vegetables; this will thicken the soup and will render the addition of the flour and cornstarch unnecessary. The problem is that the soup will be harder to digest. Many people complain about having trouble digesting the lentils: cooking them separately and rinsing them afterwards will avoid these troubles.

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