| Prep Time: 15 mins
| Cook Time: 8 mins
| Total Time: 25 mins
You may need: Dried Garlic Powder
Moroccan food consistently rates as one of the world's most popular cuisines, not least because the food borrows and remixes flavors and ingredients from Arabic, African, and Mediterranean cultures. Set on the coast on one of the busiest historical trading routes, Morocco and its merchants were well-positioned for centuries to trade the spices coming from far-flung ports to Europe. This recipe for a Moroccan-style red lentil soup is inspired by a traditional soup called 'Harira'. Our version is vegan and gluten-free, yet hearty and easy enough to make on a busy weeknight. Customize with your favorite ingredients, from shredded chicken to pumpkin seeds to dried fruit.
This month we send you a proprietary spice blend we're calling 'Casablanca Blend'. We designed this spice to be versatile, so you can quickly spike just about anything with authentic North African flavors. Smoked paprika imparts a smoky-earthy flavor that adds depth and complexity to any dish. Cumin adds a nutty note and we add a few whole cumin seeds in for a random nutty crunch. Coriander adds a wonderfully sweet fragrance and earthy-lemony profile. Finally, turmeric and ginger add depth to complement a warming heat from cayenne peppers. See below for alternative ideas to use this blend.
2 tbsp neutral vegetable oil (avocado, extra virgin olive oil, or canola)
1 yellow onion, medium dice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp of tomato paste
1 tbsp Piquant Post Casablanca Blend
4 cups of low-salt vegetable broth
2 cups water
1.5 cups red lentils, rinsed
1 cup medium diced carrots (1-2 carrots)
2 tbsp lemon juice (1 lemon)
large handful of fresh spinach
2 tbsp of chopped cilantro (optional)
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds or chopped nuts (optional)
We only blend half the soup to give this soup a creamy base, yet leaving the rest a bit chunky for textural variation. Or, you can pulse the soup a few times with an immersion blender to achieve the same result.
If you don't feel like blending the soup, you can serve as-is for a rustic, chunky version.
This soup is like a blank canvas. Sprinkle seeds, chopped nuts, dried fruit and/or fresh herbs on top for extra garnish.
Lastly, optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.
Heat a soup pot or dutch oven on Med-High. When the pot is hot, turn down to Med heat. Add the oil and the onions. Cook for 2 mins. Then, add the garlic and salt & pepper, stirring to mix. Cook for 2-3 mins until the onions become translucent.
Add the tomato paste and spice blend and stir. Cook for 2 more mins until fragrant.
Add lentils, carrots, water, and broth. Stir to completely mix and dissolve the tomato paste. Bring to a simmer then turn down heat to Med-Low. Simmer the soup for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally.
Taste carrots to ensure that they have softened. Cook longer if necessary. [optional step] Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the puree back to soup pot and stir in lemon juice and spinach. Spinach leaves should wilt in ~2mins. Serve in bowls and garnish with cilantro and seeds/nuts.
We use vegetable stock in the moroccan lentil carrot soup recipe to keep it vegan. However, chicken or beef stock may be used instead.
Instead of spinach try another leafy green like swiss chard or kale. Chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley and/or cilantro also work great as garnishes to impart flavor and color contrast.
Try our vegan Smoky Eggplant and Tomato Zaalouk recipe. Perfect as an appetizer or customize it with diced grilled chicken, steak, lamb, or cooked sausage for a heartier dish.
Impress your family and friends by making the hippest brunch dish on the planet: Shakshuka: Moroccan spiced eggs.
Looking for something for lunch? Try this Moroccan chicken salad recipe as an alternative to use the Casablanca Blend. Sub in our blend (and even the Harissa) for the amount of spices listed.
Need to bring a tray to a holiday party? Try making these Moroccan deviled eggs. Yep, sub in an equivalent amount of our Casablanca Blend for all listed spices.
You can use the Casablanca Blend as a dry rub directly on meats you want to grill such as lamb, pork, chicken or even beef for a smoky, nutty, warming flavor profile.
Don't forget to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.
Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!