Moroccan Lentils with Carrots and Golden Raisins

Moroccan Lentils with Raisins and CarrotsMeatless Monday!
As if …
going without meat one measly day a week is a big deal. Seriously? So Monday is the one day of the week that collectively, we go a bit off the grid and take some baby steps toward doing the thing. Not a sacrifice.

And speaking of broadened horizons, I’ve come to the conclusion lately that the Moroccans know their way around spices like nobody’s business. With a mix of cinnamon and cumin as the standard bearers, and ginger, turmeric, paprika, pepper and salt on the sidelines, and then golden raisins or some kind of fruit to mix in a little sweetness — suddenly the humblest of ingredients have worked their way into a masterpiece

If delectable spice combinations, and not military might, was the driver of world domination, we’d be marching with the Moroccans.

The day started with a determination to put to good use the dried lentils that had been hanging around for a while.

I’ve been doing the lentil soup thing for about 30 years now. Never following a recipe and usually coming up with something that was good, but not game changing, I decided to switch it up, heading down a Moroccan path. One tsp. each of cumin, cinnamon, coriander, paprika and ginger. A 1/2 tsp. of cayenne and coarse sale. Golden raisins mixed in at the end.

Let’s just say, that as for me and my house, the humble little lentil will never be the same again.

Ingredients

2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dried ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 1/2 cups dried lentils, rinsed
4 cups vegetable stock
1 14 1/2 oz. can of garbanzo beans
1/3 cup fresh parsley
2 cups cooked brown rice (optional)
2 T. Greek yogurt (optional)

Directions
Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot. Add chopped onion, chopped carrots and garlic. Saute on medium-high for about 7 minutes, stirring often.

Combine spices and add to vegetables. Stir to thoroughly combine spices.

Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.

Rinse lentils and add to vegetables and stock. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add garbanzo beans and raisins. Simmer for and cook for another 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and add parsley, saving a few sprigs for a garnish.

Serve in a bowl or over brown rice. Top with a tsp. of plain Greek yogurt. (Optional).