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Prep 20 mins
Cook 45 mins
I never met a lentil I didn't like, and any kind will work (yellow, red, green,) in this hearty and filling vegetarian main-course soup. I created it when I found an almost-empty bottle of couscous spices, bought in France a couple of years ago. The product is called "ras el hanout" which I am told translates roughly as "top of the spices," and is a blend of (if my French translation is correct) black pepper, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, mustard, clove, nutmeg, and red pepper. It is available online at http://www.zamourispices.com/raselhanout.html. Complex and unusual, and adds great zip. This is a delicious meal with a simple salad and some crusty artisan bread. It tastes even better 2 days later, and freezes well.
- Heat oil in 12-cup soup pot, and saute' onion and pepper until soft. add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add salt, spice blend, and cilantro, blend well.
- Add broth and lentils, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Add wine halfway through. Add more broth or water if the soup is becoming too thick.
I've never been to Morocco but for some reason this feels like comfort food from home. Honestly I wouldn't change a thing and I love the Ras el Hanout used here. I put it on early yesterday morning and enjoyed some for lunch saving the rest. As always with such things it was even better today. At this point I'm planning to make a big batch to freeze in 1 or 2 serving bags for the winter. The heat level and flavors are right on for me. Made for North Africa/Middle East forum tag. :D
Definitely a lentil soup with a kick! I'm used to a totally different taste in a lentil soup, flavored with herbs, so this was really unusual, but rich and flavorful. One of the best things about lentils is that they cook quickly so you can enjoy it as an after-work meal, but I did make this soup a day ahead and reheated it for dinner the next day with a bit of Greek yogurt swirled in. (BTW, I found a 7-spice blend with the spices mentioned in a Middle Eastern market under the label Sadaf). Thanks Dilettante! Made for PAC fall 09