November 15, 2010

Moroccan spiced chickpea and lentil soup

It's soup season again! I was reading a lot of recipes for Moroccan chickpea and lentil soup after seeing it and smelling it in the "take out" section of our grocery. I had to make it. I used what I had on hand and came up with my own combination of ingredients. The soup was wonderful! I enjoyed this soup a lot and it's a very healthy and satisfying soup (plus a great vegetarian meal). The combination of spices are warm, but not hot, and full of flavor. 

Moroccan spiced chickpea and lentil soup
extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup dried chickpeas, soaked (or 1 can chickpeas)
1 small-medium red onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 small to medium tomatoes, diced (or one can diced tomatoes)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt, to taste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 cup water
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked through
sugar, optional
juice of half a lemon
2-3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

In a soup pot, warm olive oil. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to the pot. Cook until the onion becomes translucent. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, water, tomatoes. If you are using chickpeas that were dried, add them as well. Continue to cook until the soup comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Cook for approximately 30 minutes on simmer. Add the lentils and continue to simmer for approximately 45 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. If you are using canned chickpeas, add them and continue to cook until they are warmed through.

Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust as needed. Add a teaspoon or so of sugar at this point, if desired. Add the lemon juice and cilantro. Stir and serve hot.

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