Ras El Hanout Lentil Soup













Ras El Hanout Lentil Soup

A couple of weekends ago while visiting my son up at the University, I found at a local store an aromatic spice blend called Ras El Hanout.  I never heard of Ras El Hanout before until I read the recipe for “Fatima’s Lentils with Spiced Cured Pork Shoulder” at one of my favorite food blogs called Cooking in Sens.  I did a bit of poking around the web and found that Ras El Hanout is of North African origin (Moroccan) and literally means “top of the shop”.  I also learned that there are hundreds of variations of Ras El Hanout and there is really no one original recipe.  The Ras El Hanout that I purchased is a blend of ginger, coriander, cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.  I am fairly confident that it wont take me long to figure out how to make a similar spice mix myself for use at a later date…

A couple of months back I promised my son I would post recipes using a slow cooker.  If you don’t already know, using a slow cooker for meal preparation is perfect for busy college students.  Just toss in the ingredients, turn on low, go study, come back about 7 hours later and dish up.  My son G (that really is his nickname) loves Indian and Asian inspired dishes and I am sure that he will like this simple recipe.   This easy slow cooker soup is made with lentils, carrots, onion, celery, tomatoes, garlic, chicken stock and the wonderfully exotic Ras El Hanout spice blend.   Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 cup dried lentils (picked over and washed well)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (12.5 ounce)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbls. Ras El Hanout
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

Begin by picking over and washing the lentils well.  Place all ingredients in the slow cooker.  Put on low for 7-8 hours or 4 hours on high.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve with your favorite naan or flat bread.  Makes about 2 quarts soup.