Crockpot Wednesdays: Mideastern Lentil Soup

Mideastern Lentil Soup

A few people know that I actually grew up in the Middle East. I'm an oil brat. My dad's an engineer and so for 16 years we lived in Saudi Arabia. This is how I got to travel the world. I thank my dad often for that opportunity - in my head.  I'm now realizing that I probably have never actually told my dad that. I'll have to remedy that. 

It's this travel that has made me the foodie that I am. I am willing to try a lot of things. Just yesterday I tried jellyfish for the first time. Although not horrible, I think I can live without it. 

I also like spice. Don't give me a bland dish. I want flavor. Lentils and beans can be rather flavorless, but are easy enough to doctor up with veggies, broth, and a pinch or two of spices. I knew that this week I wanted to do a lentil soup, but I didn't want something boring. Give me a bit of zing. This is adapted from a Moroccan lentil soup. Throw in some cinnamon, cumin, and nutmeg and you've got something more exotic.

Mideastern Lentil Soup 

1 1/2 cups dried lentils
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
14 oz can of diced tomatoes (and juice)
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated

Put all ingredients into crockpot in order given. Stir to mix in the spices. Set on low for 8 hours. When cooked, use an imersion blender to puree the vegetables into a thick soup. Add salt and pepper if desired. Best to let the flavors develop and eat next day.