Starfish Moroccan Red Lentil Soup from Muse Bistro

by Suzanne Heron.

In a 6 quart pot melt 2 Tbsp butter with 2 Tbsp olive oil.  Dice and add 1 large onion & 2 carrots, 1 cup chopped fresh parsley and a little salt. Sauté over medium high for 6 to 8 minutes until translucent and lightly browned.  Reduce to medium low and add ground pepper, 3 cloves minced garlic, 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin and 2 tsp dried Chile flakes and toss for about 30 seconds. Stir in 1 1/2 cups dry red lentils, 19 oz diced tomatoes with juice, 2 tsp paprika and 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth. Bring this to a soft bubble and gently simmer, partially covered, for about 45  minutes until the lentils dissolve.  Stir at regular intervals.  Add extra stock at this point if the soup is too thick.  Adjust the seasoning to your taste. Remove from heat and then finish by stirring in 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice.  Garnish this soup with chopped parsley or cilantro and a dollop of plain yogurt if you like.

Judi Garbala, Bistro Muse, Muse Winery, 11195 Chalet Road, North Saanich, 250-656-2552. This soup tastes great the day you make it and even better the next day!