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Aromatic bean & noodle soup

Shahnaz Ahsan

A wholesome soup inspired by north African harira, perfect for breaking a Ramadan fast

Recipe Meta


15 mins


45 mins






  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 small nest of fine vermicelli or extra fine egg noodles, broken into 2cm pieces
  • 1 can of chickpeas or butterbeans, rinsed and drained
  • 50g red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 150g cooked chicken, shredded (optional)
  • 1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon


Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan or stock pot. Gently saute the onions for 5 mins until translucent and just starting to turn golden. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika and ground cinnamon, stirring well for 30 seconds.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stir again, then lower the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins. Mash the spicy tomato and onion mixture with the back of a spoon to break it down.

Add the chickpeas and lentils, coating well. Add the stock, give it a good stir, then cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 30 mins. If using chicken, add 10 mins before the end of the cooking time.

Add the broken noodles, with an extra cup of water if needed (the noodles will absorb water when cooking). Cover and simmer for 5 mins. Add the lemon juice and parsley. Stir well. Ladle into small bowls and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Image: Fatima Saleh

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