My Moroccan tomato and lentil soup has evolved from a somewhat bland cream of tomato soup I’ve been making since the kids were little. Cream of tomato is the only soup one of my kids will eat. Therefore, I’ve started to add a few more ingredients to make it more interesting. Now, this soup is on high rotation on Monday nights when everyone eats at different times.
The ras el hanout is such a delicious spice mix. Originally from Morocco, it translates as ‘top of the shop.’ This is the highest quality spice collection that a ‘souk’ or spice merchant has to offer. Ras el hanout is an aromatic concoction, containing up to 20 different spices. You can buy a good mix from https://www.herbies.com.au or most good grocery stores. However, if you don’t have any, try adding 1/4 tsp each of the 4 c’s: ground cinnamon, cumin, coriander and cumin.
From the time my kids started to eat solids, I would add tiny amounts of spice to their food to get them used to different flavours – ground cumin to mashed avocado, nutmeg to sweet potato and pumpkin, cinnamon to apple. Of course, if you prefer a simpler tasting soup, leave out the spices. My son still likes to add cream to his soup, however I prefer the Moroccan tomato and lentil soup without cream. Serve some crackers or toast alongside the soup, spread some creamy feta.
If you like to make quick and easy soups, you might like to try this creamy corn soup with cashews: https://atamandastable.com.au/creamy-corn-soup-with-cashews/
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Moroccan Tomato and Lentil Soup
- 1 medium brown onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks celery, washed and chopped
- 1 red capsicum, seeds removed, washed and chopped
- 2 fat cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 L vegetable or chicken stock I used vegetable stock
- 750 mL tomato passata substitute with the same amount of tinned tomatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup optional
- 1 tsp ras el hanout substitute with 1/4 tsp each of 4 c's: cardamom, cinnamon, coriander & cumin
- flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan and sauté onion, garlic and celery over a mediem, partially covered, for 15 minutes.
- Add the ras el hanout and capsicum and cook another few minutes, then stir in the lentils.
- Add the tomato passata and the stock, bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Cool for about 10 minutes, then puree with a handheld blender. Season to taste. If the soup tatses a little bitter, add the maple syrup. Serve immediately.