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Monday, April 6, 2009

A Last Salute to Winter: Moroccan Minestrone

A couple of weeks ago, I saw this recipe for Moroccan Minestrone on Joie de Vivre's blog, and thought that since winter hadn't quite left yet (last week), that it would be the perfect send off for the winter blues...

I finally got my husband to agree to some brown rice to go along with this (per Joie de Vivre's suggestion), and it was the perfect accompaniment. (It's strange that my husband has held out on brown rice this long since he's the one who convinced me to switch to whole wheat bread a few years ago. It turns out that he's never had properly cooked brown rice...) I made a couple of very minor changes, but I basically used Joie de Vivre's recipe. I love cilantro, so I garnished it with some fresh chopped leaves, which really brightened the flavors.

The overall family consensus? They loved it! It's easy to make, and since my daughter loves chickpeas, rice and beans, this disappeared faster than winter these days...

Moroccan Minestrone
adapted from Whole Foods by Jude Blereau by Joie de Vivre
and then further adapted by me!


1 c. dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (There seems to be no reason you couldn't used canned chickpeas here and cut out a step...)
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, finely sliced
2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. turmeric
1 Tbls. chopped fresh cilantro leaves + more for garnish
1 c. dried Puy lentils
14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
3 Tbls. tomato paste
2 quarts chicken stock
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Cooked brown rice, to serve


1. If using uncooked chickpeas, place the chickpeas in a pot with enough water to cover and soak overnight. Rinse, add more water to cover and bring the water to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer and partially cover. Check the beans periodically to make sure they are still covered with water and cook until soft 1-2 hours. You will end up with about 3 c. of cooked chickpeas, so if using canned, use the equivelant.
2. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Saute the onions and the celery in the olive oil until they are softened and starting to brown. Add the ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and the cilantro and cook, while stirring, for another minute.
3. Add the lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato paste and stock. Cook over medium heat for 45-60 minutes until the lentils are soft. Adjust the seasonings. Add the lemon juice.
4. If desired, serve over cooked brown rice.


Joie de vivre April 6, 2009 at 10:39 AM  

I'm so glad you liked it Mindy! And I'm glad that it helped push winter out of the way for the year. It is finally starting to warm up here! :) I like your lemon juice suggestion.

Chef E April 6, 2009 at 11:24 AM  

Now I will have to do this one...this looks great! Hubby here will eat anything, but bacon and fried foods...

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