If you are shifting to a more plant-based diet, stock-up your pantry with lentils. There are many types of lentils available in supermarkets and they are all good for you. For this recipe, I used red football lentils.
Made with a mix of warm spices, veggies, herbs and lemon juice, this Moroccan red lentil soup is bold, beautiful, hearty and healthy. Made with natural ingredients, there’s no need to add bouillon cubes or stock. Just add water and the ingredients will cook, merge and create their own stock.
Cooking with preserved lemons is traditional to Moroccan cuisine. In this soup, the lemon juice with mint add a fresh citrusy note that offsets the warmer spices. One serving with a salad is a complete meal. It’s true comfort food that can be ready in little time. Enjoy!
Moroccan red lentil soup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 medium-size carrots, chopped
- 1 small leek, chopped
- 2 celery sticks with leaves, chopped
- 2-3 garlic buds, pressed
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp harissa or hot red pepper purée
- 1½ cups diced tomatoes with their juices (fresh or canned)
- 2 cups (500 grams) dried red lentils
- 8 cups water (or more if need be)
- Juice of 1 lemon (2 tbsps)
- 2-3 mint leaves, chopped or 1 tsp dried mint
- Salt to taste
- A handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- Lemon wedges on the side
1. In a soup pot, heat up the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, reduce heat to medium. Add the chopped onion, carrots, leek and celery. Adjust heat and sauté for 3 minutes until soft.
2. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and harissa. Mix this well into the veggies.
3. Add the diced tomatoes and lentils and mix well. Sauté this for 2 minutes (add a little water to avoid sticking at bottom).
4. Add water, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer with lid half on for 15-20 minutes. Mix soup from time to time.
5. Transfer 4 cups of the soup into the bowl of your Nutribullet or blender and purée. Pour this back and mix into the soup.
6. Stir in the lemon juice, mint, salt. Remove from heat, cover and allow to settle for 10-15 minutes. Add more water if need be.
7. Add the chopped coriander leaves at the moment of serving. Serve with lemon wedges should guests want to squeeze some extra lemon juice to their portion.