SPINACH & BEAN SOUP

¼ cup olive oil
3 leeks, minced (white part only)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
5 cups vegetable broth
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed*
1 bunch spinach, stemmed and chopped


Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and leeks and sauté, stirring occasionally until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the carrots. Season with ground coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth. Cover with a lid and cook 20 minutes.

Add the beans and spinach. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve right away.

* If using home-cooked beans, you need about 1.5 cups.

Serves 4

ROASTED RED PEPPER & GOAT CHEESE CHICKPEA SOUP

Roasted red peppers, goat cheese, smoked paprika come together beautifully in this chickpea soup. Taste your soup when it’s done and add more smoked paprika, if you wish to have a smokier flavor.

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 small sweet potato, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (12-oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained (or 2 roasted peppers)
4 ounces soft goat cheese


Place all of the ingredients except the roasted red peppers and goat cheese in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook over gentle heat, 20 to 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.

Add the roasted red peppers and goat cheese. Blend the soup using a stick blender or transfer to a container blender and blend until smoothly pureed.

Serve right away with toasted bread drizzled with olive oil.

Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

Serves 4 to 6

PEPPERY RED BEAN STEW

1 medium yellow onion
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and coarsely cut
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons harissa or other hot sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 bay leaves
1 cup tomato sauce
3.5 cups vegetable broth
6 ounces dried red beans, presoaked for 3 to 5 hours and drained


Chop the onion, red peppers and garlic very finely in a food processor.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables, harissa, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Cook until the vegetables are softened and fragrant, 5 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, broth and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the beans are soft and the sauce reduced, 1h15 to 1h30 min. Discard the bay leaves. Serve warm.

Serves 4 to 6

RED LENTIL SOUP

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups red lentils
1 cup tomato puree
5 cups vegetable broth
4 bay leaves


In a medium soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the red onion until translucent 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the lentils, tomato puree, vegetable broth and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook over gentle heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 4

MOROCCAN HARIRA SOUP

3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 red onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves
½ cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup butter
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 cups canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed
2 celery sticks
3 cups water
4 cups vegetable broth

2 eggs, beaten
1 lemon cut into wedges, for serving


Place the tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley, and 1/2 cup of water in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.

In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the salt, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, and turmeric powder and cook until fragrant 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly pour the blended vegetables into the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until bubbly, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes.

Add the garbanzo beans, lentils, and celery sticks. Cover with water and vegetable broth. Simmer covered, 55 to 65 minutes.

Remove the celery sticks and discard. Incorporate the beaten eggs, stirring constantly to cook and shred the eggs, 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serves 4 to 6

SAVORY MOROCCAN CHICKPEA FLAN

This quiche-y chickpea dish is known as Karane in Morocco and mostly popular in the northern regions.

1 cup chickpea flour
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ¾ cups water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons hot sauce —I used Sriracha

Ground cumin and chili powder, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine the chickpea flour, salt and garlic powder. Add the rest of the ingredients, whisking energetically until you obtain a very smooth, soupy batter.

Transfer the batter to an 8×8-inch pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until the flan is set. It is OK if the surface feels a bit soft and mushy; that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Sprinkle generously with ground cumin and chili powder. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

SIMPLE LENTIL STEW

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 celery stalks, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups green lentils, rinsed and picked over
3 cups vegetable stock
5 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


Heat the olive oil and tomato paste in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the celery and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the lentils, stock, water, thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot with a lid and cook until the lentils are tender, about 50 minutes.

Serve the stew warm. Top it with a dollop of Greek yogurt, some olive oil and minced celery leaves, if you wish.

Serves 4

MUNG BEAN & SPINACH SOUP

1 large onion
1 large tomato
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
6.5 cups vegetable broth (or a mix of broth and water)
1 cup green mung beans, preferably pre-soaked
2 cups chopped spinach or other edible green
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon


Process the onion, tomato and garlic in a food processor until minced. Transfer to a soup pot.

Stir in the ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, salt, pepper. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes until fragrant. Add the vegetable broth/water. Bring to a boil.

Lower the heat to medium-low. Add the mung beans, cover and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the beans are open and soft, and the soup is thicker.

Remove from the heat. Incorporate the spinach, olive oil and lemon juice. Stir and let sit 10 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt and the soup to cool down a bit. Serve the soup by itself or with warm cooked rice or flatbread.

Serves 4

GRILLED CAULIFLOWER STEAKS + CHICKPEA & FRUIT SALAD

These cauliflower steaks can also be cooked in a pan with a little bit of oil if you prefer that to grilling.


For the cauliflower

1 medium cauliflower head, leaves removed
1/3 cup olive oil
Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder

For the salad
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 nectarine, finely diced
½ cup finely diced pineapple
10 basil leaves, chiffonaded
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
A light sprinkling of fine salt and pepper


Preheat the grill for 15 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, cut the cauliflower lengthwise into four 1 inch-thick slices. Reserve the scraps for another use.

Brush the cauliflower slices generously with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, cumin and curry, and sprinkle both sides of the cauliflower.

Cook the cauliflower slices on the grill, with the lid closed, 5 to 8 minutes per side.

To make the salad, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

Plate the cauliflower steaks with the chickpea and fruit salad on top.

Serves 4

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

EASY CUMIN-LIME STEWED RED LENTILS

1 ½ cups red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grated red onion
1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish, optional


Place the lentils, vegetable broth, olive oil and salt in a medium pot over medium heat. Cover with a lid and cook 15 to 18 minutes, until the broth is almost evaporated and the lentils soft.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the grated onion, lime juice and cumin.

Serve warm garnished with chopped cilantro leaves.

Serves 3 to 4

Cumin lime red lentils