I just had enjoyed this beautiful bowl of warming soup for my lunch just now and had to share the recipe with you for Meatless Monday. There’s time to whip it up for dinner after work tonight – it just does it’s own thing as you get on with chores, kid loving or perhaps just kicking back and sipping on a glass of Pinot with a smug little grin on your face because you are off to a super great start to the week.
I hope you enjoy. Have a great week.
Green lentil soup with lemon and Ras el hanout
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 brown onion, diced
1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger (or substitute for heaped teaspoon of ground ginger)
2 sticks of celery, diced
1 carrott, diced
1 cup of french green lentils – washed and rinsed well
2 cups of water
2 cups of vegetable stock (or simply use more water)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of ras el hanout **
1 lemon, juiced
Spinach leaves, to serve
Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy based saucepan. Add the onion and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger and stir though. Add the celery and carrot and stir to combine. Add your rinsed french green lentils as well as the water and or stock. Cook for approximately 20 minutes and add more water from the kettle if your soup is reducing too quickly. Season well to taste with salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Add 1 teaspoon of ras el hanout as well as the juice of a lemon. Taste again and adjust seasoning if necessary. Top with spinach leaves just prior to serving.
I served this with a simple side salad of washed green leaves with a good dollop of full fat greek yoghurt, a squeeze of lemon juice and pomegranate seeds (pictured).
** Ras el hanout is a popular Nort African spice blend. It translates to ‘top of the shop’ meaning the top spices are combined to make the perfect spice blend. Up to 30 spices may be used depending on the spice vendor and their blend of the day. You can buy ras el hanout at most good delis and food stores (Relish Mama also stock ras el hanout). Ras el hanout is simply wonderful added to tangines, soups, salads, stews. poultry, eggs, roasts and so much more. If you would like to make your own ras el hanout, here is a recipe for you :
Ras el hanout
1½ tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp cardamom seeds
¼ tsp hot paprika
4 whole cloves
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground allspice
Pound in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and store well in an air tight container.