Lentil Soup with Moroccan Spices

Ingredients: $          Time: 10 minutes to prep, 35 minutes cookingIMG_3430

On our Honeymoon, we were fortunate enough to stop in Essaouria, Morocco to visit our two good friends Liv and Kabir who are there for the Peace Corps. As we hopped from Barcelona to Morocco, we had such an unforgettable experience in Essaouria. As expected, Liv and Kabir were the perfect tour guides and hosts and allowed us to see the beautiful sights of their new city. They took us through the city streets, medina and helped us taste us wonderful North-African cuisine. Their host parents Khadija and Hosine were so hospitable and Khadija fed us tagines filled to the brim; all filled with unforgettable spices and ingredients. Khadija even gave us cooking lessons as we made some of her signature dishes. If you are ever near Essaouria, please make it a priority to take a cooking class with Khadija.

IMG_3561

When we returned home after an incredible journey abroad, we missed the endless flavor of Moroccan food. We wanted to sit in a salon all day, drink Moroccan teas and we just missed being around both our friends and their incredible new family. Since then, we have tried to recreate some Moroccan dishes at home and each time, the aroma of all the spices reminded us of our Moroccan adventures and all our great memories.

Recently, I made it my mission to make a Lentil Soup. To spice things up, I tried to incorporate spices that are used in many Moroccan dishes to give this soup a little kick, color and overall taste. It came out SO great and there was plenty for leftovers.

Khadija, we are planning to make some of your tagines very soon! I know they won’t come close to what you served us but if they are half as good, we will take it.

(How gorgeous are these dishes below?)

Lentil Soup with Moroccan SpicesIMG_4819

Ingredients: 

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cups red lentils, rinse before using until water runs clear (red lentils work best for this soup so try not to substitute)
  • 1 diced tomato (you can use a can if that works for you)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (I look at ingredients to make sure there are no hidden ingredients)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice and crushed red pepper to garnish

Note: I love paprika but I was told I can’t have it. If you can, I would add some smoked paprika to this dish.

How to Make Lentil Soup with Moroccan Spices:

  1. Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until brown and then add all the spices from above (about 5-6 minutes in the pot). This may seem weird to throw the spices in an empty pot but it all comes together in the end. I promise.
  2. Add the carrots to the pot and sauté until carrots are tender about 10-12 minutes. They are the most beautiful color mixed in with all the spices.IMG_4813
  3. Add the vegetable broth to your pot, diced tomatoes and lentils and stir to combine. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Taste away to make sure they are the right texture.IMG_4817
  4. You have the choice of leaving the soup as is with the lentils and carrots full-size. You can also use a blender or an immersion blender to puree the soup. It’s up to you!IMG_4820
  5. Serve soup with crushed red pepper and lemon juice. I also found a great Gluten-Free sprouted grain bread that was free of all my allergens and tasted delicious with the soup.IMG_4825
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