Good morning! Only 10 more days until Christmas! I can’t wait! Meanwhile, the weather in the DC metropolitan area has been quite mild so I don’t think we will have a white Christmas. Either way, it’s been chilly so I have another soup recipe for you today! I was at the grocery store and I saw some of their store brand Moroccan Lentil Soup and I thought, “That’s what I should make for lunch this week!” I remembered I had many spices that I got while I was in Morocco so I only had to grab a few ingredients and I was all set.
I grabbed an onion, cilantro and a lemon. I already had garlic on hand (I always have garlic on hand!). I already had red lentils and chickpeas so I just had to buy some diced tomatoes and vegetable stock.
I bought a few different spices while I was in Marrakech, Morocco, but the two that I used for this recipe are the Ras el hanout and the ground Cumin. Ras el hanout is a spice mixture that varies by who makes it. It is a flagship spice, or “head of the house” spice, meaning that the mixture is made from the best spices of the shop. The mixture can include a dozen or more different spices, so it will vary in taste.
First I diced the large sweet onion.
Then I minced some garlic.
After sauteing the onion and garlic I added the spices, starting with the Ras el hanout.
I rinsed the red lentils and let them drain.
I rinsed and drained the can of chickpeas.
After sauteing the onion and garlic I added the spices, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, broth, and lentils.
I gave it a good stir, then brought it to a boil. Once boiling, I reduced the heat and let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes to let the lentils cook.
If you prefer a creamier, less chunky soup, then you can puree the tomatoes before adding them, or you can use an immersion blender to blend up some of the soup mixture. I prefer chunky so I left them as is.
After the soup was done cooking I threw in the cilantro, juice of one lemon, and some salt and pepper and stirred.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Ras el hanout
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bunch cilantro (or parsley, if desired)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon salt, to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
- Saute the onion for about 7 minutes, or until onion is soft. Then add garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the Ras al Hanout and cumin, stirring well, then add the tomatoes (with the juice), lentils, chickpeas, and broth. Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the cilantro (or parsley), lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste, then serve.