About This Vegan Moroccan Lentil Soup
I love this vegan Moroccan lentil soup because it’s thickened with protein-rich red lentils, has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting turmeric and ginger, and it takes about 30 minutes to make.
A need for a quick but filling and flavorful meal inspired this soup. I love Moroccan-inspired recipes for their depth of flavors and unique combination of spices – cumin, paprika, cinnamon, ginger. Mmmmmm. Add a handful of fresh cilantro for a fresh but cozy dinner.
Serve this with some crusty whole grain bread or a simple side salad and you have a heart-warming, nutritious meal. The cilantro adds a burst of freshness, a recommended addition.
When I think of soup I think 2 things:
1) What veggies in my fridge do I need to use up before they go bad? Any veggie is fair game!
2) What beans or grains do I have on hand to make the soup more filling and to add protein, complex carbs, and fiber?
With the latter, this leads me to peak in the fridge and see if I have any leftover cooked chickpeas, brown rice, or quinoa hanging around. If so, they get dumped in my soup!
If I have nothing already prepared and I don’t want a veggie-only soup, I reach for split red lentils!
Why Red Lentils?
- They can be added to soup dry. They’ll cook so quickly and thicken the soup!
- They’re high in protein, fiber, and iron.
- They’re cheap and easy to keep in stock.
- They work well with almost anything!
How To Make This Recipe
In a soup pot, sauté the flavor building veggies (onion, carrot, celery) with water then add garlic, spices, and lentils along with some veggie broth.
Simmer until the lentils are tender. Finish with fresh herbs if you like!
Capital E easy!
Soup pot, that’s it!
Split red lentils – also known as masoor dal are an amazing addition to your pantry and the star of this soup!
In ½ cup of dry red lentils there is 24 grams of protein and 14 grams of fiber!
Meatless meals are often criticized for their lack of protein, this is an irrelevant point, but if this recipe is divided into 4 servings, each serving would provide 15 grams of protein!
Red lentils are also a great source of iron. Adding a squeeze of lemon juice at the end offers vitamin C which helps with the absorption of non-heme (vegetarian) sources of iron.
Tips, Tricks & How to Simplify This Recipe
This recipe is pretty straightforward but I do have one tip!
Whenever I make a soup with several dried spices, I like to add all the spices to a small bowl before I get started on the recipe so that the “add spices” step is quick and easy.
Recipe Variations and Leftovers
Alternate between sweet paprika and smoked paprika to get a different flavor and feel free to add more cayenne pepper if you like it spicy! Fire roasted tomatoes also add another layer of complex flavor!
Leftovers will be even better reheated the next day and enjoyed as soup or mixed with cooked grains and sliced avocado.
Vegan Moroccan Lentil Soup
- 1 medium onion diced (1 heaping cup)
- 2 large celery stalks thinly sliced (1 heaping cup)
- 2 medium carrots diced (1 ½ cups)
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 1 heaping tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (14.5) ounce can diced tomatoes (regular or fire-roasted)
- 1¼ cups split red lentils
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 3 good grinds black pepper
- 1 large bunch cilantro chopped (optional)
- In a large pot, sauté the onion, celery, and carrot with ¼ cup water for 10 minutes, stirring often and adding water as needed to prevent burning.
- Now add the garlic, ginger, all spices, and tomato paste and continue to sauté for another minute.
- Next, add the diced tomatoes, red lentils, and broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the lentils are beginning to dissolve in the soup.
- Add the lemon juice and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. You can either stir the chopped cilantro into the soup or garnish the soup with cilantro once ladled into bowls.