Moroccan Red Lentil Soup

by ck


Oh man. This soup is something else. I just jumped on the lentil train this year, and I have to say, my Sunday suppers and mid-week lunches have never been more colorful.

I’ve been eating a lot of lentils because they are the perfect combination of cheap and nutritious.  2 cups of red lentils will cost you about $3.00, if you buy them in bulk like I do. This recipe calls for less that 2 cups of lentils and produces 6 hearty servings. You know you’re in business when the main ingredient only costs $.50 a head.

Anyway, the key to this dish (the key to many dishes, in my opinion) is the addition of lemon at the end. The acid adds a toothsome, ‘can’t-put-your-finger-on-it but damn is it tasty’ quality to the soup.

Soups and stews like this pulled me out of my winter lunchtime rut. Even though it’s starting to get warmer, I’m confident red lentils won’t go out of style– I imagine that this meal would be easy to adapt into a cold salad for humid summer evenings.


Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a deep, heavy bottomed skillet or dutch oven.  Add 1/2 a large onion (diced) and cook until soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add a couple of garlic cloves (sliced, not diced.) Add a couple of diced carrots and let it all sit for a few minutes.  Once veggies are soft, add spices: 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp coriander. Let the spices toast for 1 minute, then add 1 3/4 c. lentils and 8 c. water. Add 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Bring everything to a boil and then simmer for 45 min.

Finally, add juice of 1/2 a lemon. Salt and pepper to taste.