The Morrocan Twist

As the second ‘Souper cook’ to take part in this weeks lunch time soup challenge the bar had been well and truly set with John’s carrot and coriander number.  It had set the bar high not only on cost , flavour and ethical values but also on presentation (I noticed John’s post neglected to mention his smart place mat’s and designer salt and pepper mills!)

The pressure was on and I had to deliver a home made soup that was not only flavoursome but different as my main ingredient would also be the humble seasonal orange carrot!

So after much debate I came up with a stock cupboard favourite Carrot and Lentils with a Moroccan twist. A really easy recipe to put together which would also allow me some  extra time to create a couple of homemade naans, to accompany  the dish and maybe score me some extra brownie points…game on.

The ingredients
•    2 tsp cumin seeds
•    1tsp ground coriander
•    1tsp cinnamon
•    2 tbsp olive oil
•    600g carrots (about 6 big carrots grated)
•    140g split red lentils
•    1litre of veg stock or just use some vegetable bouillon powder as a quick alternative
•    small pot of plain natural yogurt
•    Naan bread, (100g strong white flour, 7g yeast, 2tsp table salt, 2tsp olive oil & enough cold water to make a smooth elastic dough)

The budget bit
Spices (all from Suma) fresh coriander from plant pot & olive oil in my cupboard, Organic carrots 96p for bag of ten, crazy jack lentils    £2.35 500g, Marigold Bouillon powder £2.25 150g, water from  the tap, organic natural yogurt 64p 150g, Doves Farm strong white flour 1.29 500g, 7g Yeast 67p

Total cost for the soup 2.21 per bowl 44p

The Soup bit
1.    Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds, ground coriander , cinnamon, black pepper and salt for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas. Scoop out about half of the spices and set aside.  Take the pan off the heat and add the oil , carrot, lentils, coat in oil and put back on the heat and add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 -20 mins until the lentils have expanded and are soft.
2.    Put the mixture into the blender or use a hand blender or mash which ever you prefer, I like a nice thick consistency so I blended it. I also added half of the  yogurt during the blend to give it a smoother texture
3.    To serve I added a dollop of yogurt in the centre, sprig of fresh coriander and a sprinkling of the spices  which I had set aside earlier. I also served  naan breads  – which I reheated the in the toaster to give them that just cooked bread feel.

The Naan bit
1.    To make the naans I mixed the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl then made a well in the middle and added the oil and stirred through the dry mixture.
2.    I then started to add the cold water and used my hands to bind all the ingredients it was a bit messy but I just kept adding the water until the mixture was smooth not sticky or claggy just smooth and doughy
3.    I kneed the dough for about a minute then put it to rest in an oiled bowl and covered it with a tea towel. I forgot about it for an hour and returned to find it had expanded slightly.
4.    I then divided the dough into 12 balls and flattened each into roundish shape about 1cm thick and patted each in some flour
5.    I heated a frying pan and added 1tbsp of olive oil  then put as many of the dough shapes into the pan for about 4 minutes each side on a medium heat. until all twelve had a brown glow then set aside to rest on some kitchen towel to cool down

To present I used blue bowls red napkins and recycled a 2008 calendar to use as place settings. And voila ‘Carrot and Lentil soup with a hint of Morocco’ and  a home made Naan for dipping.
If the ‘Souper Cooks’ didn’t like it I would have thrown in the proverbial tea towel and had a Gordon Ramsey strop! Despite a few nervous moments and fears the soup would be cold the Souper cooks seemed to make the right noises which was a huge relief and everyone’s bowl seemed to have been mopped up with the use of the naan so all was well.  Not bad for £2.21 soup everyone went away with a full warmed belly, so now we’ll have to wait and see what the scores on the doors are.

I wonder what tomorrows Souper chef brings will it be another carrot recipe or might we venture into a medley of  winter vegetables over to you Ben…..

As promised we’ll keep you posted throughout the week on the other soups, you can also see our progress in our special soup album on flickr click here, and don’t forget to share your recipe tips and comments by leaving a reply below.

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