It’s really hard to not fall in love with Morocco. From the intoxicating sights, sounds and smells of the bustling souks, the beautiful decor and amazing textiles (I literally wanted to cram every rug back in my suitcase to take home with me!) to the warm hospitality of the people, it really feels like you’ve been transported to a completely different world. As we travelled the country exploring the ancient cities, epic mountain ranges and sweeping deserts, one constant was the delicious, rich and hearty foods and I especially fell in love with their lentil soups.
I love how the earthy flavour of the lentils mixes with all of the other flavourful spices along with the hint of citrus freshness. I also loved how it would fill me up with energy for a day of exploring, treasure finding (and haggling) in the markets.
When we got back home and I was feeling those post-vacation blues, I knew I had to try to recreate it myself ;)
I fiddled around with a few different recipes and this was the one that hit the spot! The flavour is super rich but at the same time it’s refreshingly light. It’s also packed with healthy nutrients and is pretty simple to make.
I love making this soup on the weekends and having it on hand during the week. It’s also great to feed a hungry crowd of kids and pairs amazingly well with some grilled cheese sandwiches. Definitely a crowd pleaser :)
Here's What you'll need ;)
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp of grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- juice of 1 lemon
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 cups of chicken/veggie stock
- 2 chicken drumsticks (you can omit the chicken if you would like to make it vegetarian soup)
- 1 cup of lentils
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Soak lentils in a large bowl or cold water and set aside
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, add onions, carrots and celery. Cook veggies for about 7-10 minutes, or until they start to become soft.
- Add in garlic, ginger, curry, cumin and coriander powder. Mix spices in for about 45 secs, or until fragrant.
- Add in lemon and lime juice and mix well.
- Add in bay leaf, chicken legs and stock
- Drain lentils and add in
- Increase heat till soup begins to boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 45-55 minutes, until lentils are soften and chicken is cooked through
- Let soup keep simmering, remove bay leaf and discard. Remove chicken and shred the meat of the bones. Add shredded chicken back to soup and mix in.
- Flavour soup with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove off heat and add cilantro.
- Serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, fresh cilantro and lemon.
ps: here are a few snaps from our Moroccan travels :)