Moroccan Lentil Soup


I've decided we need to eat more lentils. They're a terrific source of protein, they cook up quickly and they're versatile. Think of them as the boneless, skinless chicken breast of the vegetarian world . . . .  So to that end, this week I tried out this new recipe and it's going to be a regular (to the extent we have those) at our house.  It's zingy (more or less, depending on your taste for cayenne) and flavorful and warming.  And quick and easy too.

As with most soups, it's even better day 2+, so think of this for lunch leftovers (I microwaved mine atop a big bed of baby spinach and stirred it all together - fantastic and a good way to sneak extra greens into your life) and quickie meals for nights when you have no time. Freezing is an option, too - single-serve containers if you're so inclined, or perhaps double the recipe and slowly reheat a big batch in a pot some cold winter night when you're family's starving for something hearty and homemade.

Moroccan Lentil Soup (adapted from the Fields of Greens cookbook)

1 c. French lentils (if you need GF, make sure yours are certified GF, because there is a chance of cross-contamination)
6 c. low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
Kosher salt
Cayenne pepper
1 small carrot, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground coriander
1/8 t. turmeric
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. grated fresh ginger
8 oz. diced tomatoes with juice

2 T. cilantro, chopped - for serving

Sort and rinse the lentils.  In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil and add the onion, 1/2 t. salt and a pinch of cayenne.  Cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent.  Add the vegetables, another 1/2 t. of salt, and the spices.  Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the garlic and giner and cook for another minute or two.  Add the lentils and the broth.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season to taste with salt and cayenne.  Garnish each serving with the fresh cilantro.

Makes 8-9 cups of soup.

Already lovin' the lentil and lookin' for more? This easy Garlicky Lentil Soup is another fav . . . .

Image: Dino De Luca /