I added a new one to the repertoire last night – Spicy Moroccan Lentil Soup with Tomatoes and Herbs. I was very indecisive about dinner. It must be the change in season or a low-yield trip to the farmers market (you have to get there before 10 around here or you are stuck with sweet potatoes and scallions) because I find myself at a loss for dinner ideas this week. Last night, I did something crazy . . . crazy for someone who has a tendency to control . . . I picked up A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen and opened it up. That’s the dish I made for dinner. Call it fate or kismet or whatever, but I had almost all the ingredients I needed for the soup.
This recipe as written is easy – measure, chop and dump. I made it a little more complicated to develop more flavor. It is still simple. The prep time is quick, but it does take some time to cook so plan accordingly.
Where to next? I think Thailand is nice this time of year.
Spicy Moroccan Lentil Soup with Tomatoes and Herbs
adapted from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen
Four generous main course servings
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
4 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
pinch of cayenne, or more to taste
1 1/4 cups French lentils (the original recipe called for brown lentils, which I did not have)
1/4 cup red lentils (these can be omitted – I added them to thicken the soup a bit)
6 cups water
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
Salt, to taste (I think I added about 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot. I use a 6 quart Dutch oven. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and saute until soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Lower heat to medium and add ginger, garlic and scallions. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spices – paprikas, cumin, tumeric, cayenne (if using) – and stir for a minute more. Add the lentils, water, tomatoes and salt.
Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the lentils are soft and the soup has thickened. Add the parsley and cilantro. Taste and add salt if needed. The flavors should pop . . . make sure it is seasoned or it will be bland.
I served the soup with packaged garlic naan.
Me: A- (It has good flavor, but I still wanted a little more.)
Scott: A (“Definitely an A.”)
Alia: A+ (I am not sure how seriously you should take this. She did finish her soup, which says something.)