When we had our restaurant, my partner N. was in charge of making the daily pot of soup. I have fond memories of her prepping endless amounts of carrots, onions and celery and stirring the big pot on the Wolf range. We used various cookbooks for inspiration and worked our way through a book that a friend of mine had written-From The Night Kitchen (a practical guide to spectacular soups, stews and chilies). There was one soup in particular that I’ve been craving and it was called Moroccan Lentil. Of course neither N. nor I have any idea where this recipe was from so my first impulse was to check The Night Kitchen-no, it wasn’t from there. N. also couldn’t remember the exact recipe, but had a vague idea of the ingredients. I decided to just give up on the search and use a recipe for curried spinach and lentil soup from my friend’s book. It sounded like it would provide those same warm, earthy flavors that I remember from N.’s moroccan lentil.
This is a very easy soup to throw together-you just need to be around to let it simmer for most of the afternoon. I’ve made a few minor changes to the original recipe.
Curried Spinach and Lentil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over (I’ve used either red or green)
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
10-12 cups low-salt chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 large potato, diced
1 10-ounce bag spinach, washed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Heat oil over medium heat-add onions, celery, carrots, garlic and curry powder until vegetables soften. Add 6 cups stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, partially covered for about 2 hours.
Add potato, spinach and 4 cups more stock and cook uncovered for another hour. Add vinegar and more stock, if needed and season with salt to taste.