It is hard to beat a fragrant bowl of heartwarming soup.

"This is a staple dish throughout the holy festival of Ramadan. It will keep for up to five days in the fridge. Best to make it the day before serving to allow the flavours to develop. Ideal if you are planning a dinner for a gang." – Naima Lewey

Yield: Serves: 6


  • 1 handful celery
  • 1 handful coriander
  • 2 handfuls parsley
  • 1 onion, large
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, heaped
  • 1 pinch ras al hanoot, a pinch is three fingers
  • 150g/5oz dried peas
  • 150g/5oz dried broad beans, small, if large break bigger ones in two
  • 150g/5oz chickpeas, dried are best, soak them overnight in cold water
  • 2 litres/70fl oz water
  • 6 tomatoes, grated with a box grater
  • 150g/5oz dried lentils
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 4 tablespoons flour, heaped
  • 1 cube of vegetable stock
  • 1 pinch of black pepper, or to taste


  1. Finely chop the coriander, parsley and celery.
  2. Chop the onion into small dice and then fry on a medium heat in 3 tablespoons of oil with half a teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook for three minutes until the onions are softened.
  3. Add turmeric, stir to combine, then add the ras al hanoot, cook them down a bit.
  4. Then add the dried peas, dried beans and chickpeas. Stir to combine.
  5. Then add the parsley, coriander and the celery. Cook for 7 minutes and then add the water. Bring it to the boil and boil for 30 minutes. Add the juiced tomato and the lentils after 30 minutes, then cook until the chickpeas are done. This will be a further 30 minutes but check the chickpeas are done. Cook for another 5 minutes if the chickpeas are not done.
  6. Mix the flour with a little cold water and combine thoroughly until you have a creamy consistency.
  7. Mix the tomato puree with a little water to loosen it up so it’s gloopy. Then grate a stock cube into the soup. Pour in the tomato puree and add the flour. Cook for 7 minutes and the soup is done. Serve with bread and maybe try it topped with some crème fraîche with a little harissa through it for those who like a little extra heat.