A staple of the Moroccan diet, lentils are widely used in many different dishes. This vegetarian lentil soup is a hearty meal in itself, but you could also add chicken or beef, if desired.
- 500 g brown lentils
- 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 white onions, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 celery sticks, thinly sliced
- 4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ cup chopped coriander leaves, plus extra to serve
- 2.5 litres (12 cups) vegetable stock or water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 carrots, cut into ½ cm cubes
- flat bread, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Rinse the lentils in cold water, drain and set aside. Place a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, onions, garlic and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until soft. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, coriander and 2 litres (8 cups) water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Add the chilli, lentils, tomato paste and carrots. Stir well, reduce the heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes until the lentils are tender, adding an extra 250 ml (1 cup) stock or water if the soup looks too thick.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with extra chilli and coriander. Serve with bread.
Photography by Alan Benson