Monday, July 15, 2013

Moroccan Lentil Soup

This is a simple, spicy and satisfying soup.  Moroccan lentil soup can be made with a variety of vegetables or can be simplified with just lentils in a spiced tomato based soup.

This variation combines the lentils with onions, carrots and spinach in a tomato based soup spiced with cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne pepper for some added heat.   I used chicken broth to give the soup some added meat flavor, but the soup can be easily converted into a vegetarian dish by replacing the chicken broth with vegetable broth.  A squirt of lemon and chopped parsley or cilantro make the finishing touches to the dish.

Moroccan lentil soup can be a satisfying meal paired with a sandwich or a light lunch served on its own with crusted bread on the side.  It also makes an excellent starter to almost any dinner.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Active Cooking Time: 20 minutes


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Cup Onions finely chopped
1 Cup Carrots finely chopped
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 Teaspoon Turmeric
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper
4 Cups  low sodium Chicken Broth
1 Cup Water
3/4 Cup Lentils
14 oz Chopped Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
4 oz Fresh Spinach chopped
Lemon wedges and chopped parsley for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Saute the onions and carrots until soft (about 8-10 minutes).  Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Stir and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Pour in the chicken broth, water, lentils, chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir and bring the pot to a boil then lower the heat to a mild simmer. Cover the pot with a slight crack allowing some stream to escape. Cook for 40 minutes.  Add the spinach and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the spinach leaves are wilted.

Serve warm in bowls with lemon wedges and chopped parsley on the side.

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