This Moroccan lentil soup comes from the N.Y. Times food section and is originally vegetarian. We’ve used chicken or beef broth in the soup and added a pork meatball at the end. But, it would certainly be delicious without these changes. Fantastic recipe especially those warm spices on a cold winter night.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced, about 2 cups
4 garlic cloves, minced or mashed in mortar and pestle
1” piece fresh ginger, peeled, mashed
1 tsp ground black pepper or several grinds
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon crumbled saffron
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 quart canned, diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
8 cups chicken or beef broth (or water)
1 lb. BBF Ground Pork
2 gloves garlic, mashed in mortar and pestle
1/2″ piece of ginger, mashed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 T Bread Crumbs
Place all ingredients in a bowl, combine and set aside.
For the Soup
Put olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and lightly colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, pepper, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, saffron and cinnamon. Cook for about 2 minutes more.
Add tomato and cilantro and bring to a brisk simmer. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes, until mixture thickens somewhat, then add 1 teaspoon salt, the brown & red lentils and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, covered with the lid ajar.
Let soup simmer for 30 minutes, then taste broth and adjust salt. Cook for 45 min more at a gentle simmer, until the legumes are soft and creamy. It may be necessary to add more liquid from time to time to keep soup from being too porridge-like. It should be on the thick side but with a pourable consistency.
Once lentils are soft and with the soup at a gentle simmer, drop a spoonfuls of seasoned pork into the soup. Let the spoon and meat hit the hot soup and the meat will slide off the spoon. Dumplings don’t have to be a perfect shape. Once all the meat is in the soup, allow to simmer another 10 minutes to cook through.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.