Monday, January 19, 2015

REAL FOOD MONDAY ~ Moroccan Lentil Soup


                                                                           

For me Moroccan cuisine is one of the best in the world. The layers of flavor can be subtle or spicy with unique combinations like preserved lemons and olives or sweet cooked onions in raisin sauce. Located on the northwest edge of Africa, for centuries Morocco has been at the crossroads of cultures. The food gives you a peak into the country's history with influences from Rome, Spain, Arab Countries and the native Berber's to name a few.

Today's Real Food Monday recipe is a Moroccan Lentil Soup. Layered with flavors this soup is also good for you. Lentils are nutrient dense. They are high in protein, help improve digestion, help with diabetes control and heart health. Not to mention the soup is loaded with healthy spices and veggies!

                                          
 


MOROCCAN LENTIL SOUP    

Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 medium)
  • 1 3/4 cups lentils
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups chopped fresh spinach or one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

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    Directions
    1. Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat; add onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
    2. Add broth, water, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender but not mushy, 45 to 55 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, 5 minutes.
    3. Just before serving, stir in cilantro and lemon juice. ENJOY!
                                                   
       

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