Moroccan Style Red lentil and Garbanzo Soup

Moroccan Style Red lentil and Garbanzo Soup

Today I tried Moroccan Lentil and Garbanzo soup at Sweet Tomatoes. The soup was great- light, chunky, flavorful and apparently low calorie just the way I like my soups. I guess I liked it so much that I came home, looked up a few recipes and decided to make a batch for dinner (while I was cooking Mint Chicken Biryani for my husband!). The soup I tried had brown lentils but I did not have any on hand, so I decided to go with Red lentils. The mint aroma from the chicken biryani was so appetizing that I decided to throw in some fresh mint leaves as well. So an addition here and an omission there, what I have is Moroccan ‘Style’ Red lentil and Garbanzo Soup. The soup turned out great, we all had big bowls including my son- I added some rice and butter in his bowl. It has all ‘good for you’ ingredients-yellow squash, lentils, garbanzo beans, garlic and spices minus the not so needed cream and extra fat! Bonus: It passes my ‘toddler test’ so I am happily tagging it as toddler friendly. A large bowl or this soup with a side salad or bread also makes it a perfect filling 400 calorie lunch or 500 calorie dinner.

You need:
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 x 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
a pinch saffron strands, crushed
20-25 sprigs fresh cilantro
10-15 mint leaves
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1/3 cup red lentils cleaned and rinsed
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans, boiled
1 bay leaf

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add bay leaf, followed by garlic and cook for few seconds. Add the onions, and cook for 5 -6 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally. Add celery and cook for couple of minutes. Add squash, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, salt, saffron, cilantro, mint and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes until spices and herbs are nicely blended with the vegetables. Add 8 cups of water and bring it to boil. Add red lentils, reduce heat and simmer covered for about 20 minutes. Add garbanzo beans and simmer on low heat for another 20 minutes. Add black pepper to taste and serve hot.
Serves 8- if you like big servings :)

Moroccan Style Red lentil and Garbanzo Soup