Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup

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.

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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.

Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea SoupIMG 6508 e1418602943320 682x1024 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.

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First I diced the large sweet onion.

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Then I minced some garlic.

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After sauteing the onion and garlic I added the spices, starting with the Ras el hanout.

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I chopped off the stems of the cilantro and gave it a good rinse, then I picked through, pulling out the large stem pieces.

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I rinsed the red lentils and let them drain.

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I rinsed and drained the can of chickpeas.

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After sauteing the onion and garlic I added the spices, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, broth, and lentils.

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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.

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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.

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After the soup was done cooking I threw in the cilantro, juice of one lemon, and some salt and pepper and stirred.

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Then it’s ready to eat! I divided it up into about four heavy portions.

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Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup
 
Prep time
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This Moroccan soup was inspired by some Ras el hanout that I bought in Marrakech, Morocco. 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.
Author:
Cuisine: Soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
  2. Saute the onion for about 7 minutes, or until onion is soft. Then add garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the cilantro (or parsley), lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste, then serve.