This is a simpler version of the Moroccan lentil soup we offer on our menu rotation. It comes together quickly and results in a creamy, colorful soup inspired by spice profiles found in Moroccan cooking. The soup itself is vegan, so the meatballs can be an optional addition, but for you carnivores, you’ll enjoy this bite in your bowl.

Makes approximately 2 quarts

For the soup

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (approx 1 cup)
  • 2 medium to large organic carrots, diced (approx 1-1/2 cups)
  • 5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced (approx 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 T toasted cumin
  • 1 tsp toasted fennel, ground
  • 1 T fresh turmeric, grated (or you can use dry)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 T fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 4 qrts organic vegetable broth (or chicken broth) homemade or store-bought
  • 1-1/2 C yellow lentils, dry
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice (plus more for meatballs)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (plus more for meatballs)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (add after lentils are cooked)
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1-1/2 C fresh organic spinach leaves
  • 2 T chopped organic Italian parsley (plus more for meatballs)

In a stock pot on medium heat, add olive oil, onions and carrot and cook for 5 minutes until carrots just begin to soften. Add in garlic, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, turmeric, paprika and sumac and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring so not to burn.  Add in vegetable broth and lentils, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, still covered, for about 35-40 minutes until lentils are soft.  Once cooked, add in lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  If you need more liquid, you can add small amounts of broth until you have desired soup consistency. Taste for seasoning if you add more broth. Stir in spinach and herbs to warm soup, just before serving.

For the meatballs

Makes approximately 12 bite-sized meatballs

While your soup is simmering, you can make your meatballs.  These can be made a day ahead if that’s easier for you.

  • 1 lb organic ground beef (or organic ground turkey)
  • 1/2 C cooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic,  minced
  • 2 T chopped organic mint
  • 2 T chopped organic Italian parsley
  • 1 organic farm egg
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450. In a large mixing bowl add all ingredients and incorporate well.  Line a sheet pan with parchment and begin rolling meatballs so they are about 1-1/2 to 2 inches (big bite sized meatballs) – lay meatballs on parchment.  Place meatballs in oven and cook for 13-14 minutes until slightly golden and a bit caramelized on the outside.

For the mint pistou

Makes approximately 8 oz

  • 3/4 C fresh organic mint leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 C fresh organic Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/3 C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt

In your blender, add mint, parsley, garlic, shallot, lemon zest, chili flakes and olive oil.  Blend until well incorporated and smooth.  Add salt, pulse a few times.  Will keep in a sealed jar for up to one week in your refrigerator.

To serve

Ladel soup into large bowls.  Give each serving 3-4 meatballs. Garnish with more fresh herbs. Serve with mint sauce on the side, along with hot sauce, warm naan and slices of lemon.


If you end up having a couple of cups of leftover soup, we often stretch the soup into delicious wraps with the addition of rice, mixed salad greensdiced cucumber and feta or goat cheese.  We also like making this soup into basmati rice bowls and adding similar ingredients as the wrap.  The flavors are in the soup, so these two soup stretchers come together really quickly for an additional meal in your week.