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Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

June 2, 2014

Carrot, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Soup with Moroccan Flavors

By Coach Maria – Salus Nutritionist & Food Expert

During a recent meal at a local brewery, I ordered and ate a Red Lentil soup that was out-of-this-world delicious – complex flavors that reminded me of a hearty Middle Eastern meal, blended together in a soup…I couldn’t get enough!

When the owner of the establishment came to our table to ask how we liked our food, I asked him if he could tell me more about the soup and, since I knew the recipe wasn’t going to be handed over any time soon, asked about the ingredients.

Although tight-lipped about most of the method, he rattled off a long list of ingredients and I quickly made a mental note of every little detail he gave me and committed it to memory, until I came home to scribble a bunch of the ingredients with side notes.

Since then, I have made a few different versions of this soup, trying to enhance the flavors by doubling or switching around some of the spices.  My first batch contained a long list of spices and time consuming cooking methods – I knew I had to find a more convenient way.

I finally settled on some spice blends I found at a middle eastern store so this soup would be a breeze to make and although I thought relying on a spice blend and shortened cooking time would produce a less flavorful soup, I found out I was wrong – it was great!

Each version I made was flawless, which makes me think you simply can’t screw up this recipe with any variation you decide to make.

One of the common bonuses with all of them?  The soup was even better when eaten as leftovers!  Oh, and if you haven’t tried blood orange olive oil before – try it with this soup!  A drizzle of the blood orange olive oil over leftover soup was…WOW!

With low efforts and big results, this version is easy to make, without compromising the incredible flavors of the spices.

Ingredients
serves 6-8

 2 tblsp olive oil
1 Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
4-5 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 c red lentils
5 c homemade broth (organic, low sodium purchased broth works)
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 Tblsp Harissa paste**
2 tsp Ras el Hanout**
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

**Harissa paste is a hot chili sauce that adds some heat to this dish.  If you’re not a fan of heat, no problem, replace with a tomato paste instead and you’ll still enjoy a fantastic soup!  Can’t find the paste at your grocery store?  You can find an easy recipe online!

**Ras el Hanout is a Middle Eastern spice blend that gives a mosaic of flavors.  If you can’t find it at your grocery store, look up a recipe online – it’s easy!!

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Protein:  11g
Carbs:    25g
Fat:        10g
Sugar:     3g

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