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Moroccan Lentil Soup

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 10-15 min

Cook Time: 60-70 min

Servings: makes 8 to 9 cups

Recipe By: Annie Somerville

From:  Field of Greens: New Vegetarian Recipes From The Celebrated Greens Restaurant
Used with permission of Scribner

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Moroccan Lentil Soup

The rich, complex flavors of this soup are satisfying on all levels - they become very full and round as the ginger, the pungent spices, and the vegetables slowly simmer with the lentils. The cilantro adds a fresh, light touch.

1 cup lentils, about 6 ounces
6 cups cold water
1/8 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1  medium-size yellow onion, diced, about 2 cups
 cayenne pepper
1  small carrot, diced, about 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, about 1 cup or 1 (8 ounces can) tomatoes with juice, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Sort and rinse the lentils and place them in a soup pot with the cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 20 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium-size sauté pan and add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a few pinches of cayenne. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft, 7 to 8 minutes, then add the vegetables, another 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the spices. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or two. Add the vegetables and tomatoes to the lentils and their broth. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend and deepen. Season to taste with salt and cayenne. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of cilantro.

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