Moroccan Spiced Lentil, Chickpea and Fava Bean Soup

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Why am I posting this hearty, filling, and chunky soup right when many of you are finally beginning to experience summer weather and probably longing for something light and refreshing?  Well, I’m trying to not forget all of my friends in the Southern Hemisphere who are just starting their long haul through winter. This one is for you guys.  Plus, isn’t anytime the right time for a healthy, vegan bean soup?

This soup combines lentils, chickpeas and fava beans in a tomato broth spiced with ginger, turmeric and cinnamon- some of the best warming spices out there.  This soup has been passed down and refined from the original gruel that the Berbers used to warm themselves during the cold winters in Morocco’s Atlas mountain range.  If you’re short on time, feel free to used canned chickpeas or frozen fava beans.

Spiced Lentil, Chickpea and Fava Bean Soup

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

* 3 Tablespoons olive oil
* 2 onions, sliced
* 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 4 cups canned diced tomatoes, in their juice
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 3/4 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
* 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth or stock
* 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, boiled until tender, and drained (or substitute a 15 oz can of chickpeas)
* 1 cup dried fava beans, soaked overnight, boiled until tender, and drained
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
* salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the oil in a stockpot or very large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onion has softened. Add the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and stir to mix. Stir in the diced tomatoes, sugar and lentil and pour in the broth or stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils have softened, about 25 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and fava beans and simmer another 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the soup to heat through.

Add the cilantro and add salt and pepper to taste.

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