Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Moroccan Spiced Split Lentil Soup

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I have been on a bit of a Moroccan kick lately, after borrowing a cookbook from a friend and realising that cooking from recipes isn't actually that hard after all (I almost never use recipes...). After finding this delicious and easy soup, I just had to give it a try. It turned out to be the perfect, quick dinner for a snowy Sunday night AND it would cost all of about $2 to make for four, good-sized servings. Is there anything not good about this recipe? I think not... I served mine with flat breads that I made out of a batch of sourdough that I hadn't got around to baking. You could do this with any bread dough - just separate into balls, roll out flat on a floured surface and cook in a hot pan until brown.

Moroccan Spiced Split Lentil Soup from 'Made in Morocco' by Julie Le Clerc and John Bougen
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely diced
2 Tbsp Moroccan spice blend*
2 x 400 gram tin of tomatoes
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup split red lentils
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or coriander

Heat oil in a saucepan and cook onions until soft. Add spice blend and cook a further minute until fragrant. Add tomatoes, stock and lentils and bring to the boil. Simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly. Add more water if mixture becomes too think. Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with herbs. I added a dollop of organic yoghurt on top of mine too.

*Spice Blend
2 tsp each of cumin, coriander, paprika, ginger and cinnamon
1 tsp each pepper and turmeric
1/4 tsp each chilli powder and nutmeg

Place all spices in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and mix until combined. Store in a sealed jar. Makes 1/4 cup.

Last night I made a beautiful lamb kefta tagine with tomato and honey sauce from this same recipe book - it was divine! I highly recommend you check out this book if you are keen to give Moroccan cooking a try. It is simple, beautifully photographed and the recipes use normal ingredients that you are likely to have in your pantry. My kind of cooking.

'Made in Morocco' by Julie Le Clerc and John Bougen

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