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Sorry for the lack of recipes in the past couple of days – just very busy with prep for the up-coming cookery demonstration at the weekend.

As part of my prep for the demo tomorrow I am making some “here’s some dishes that i prepared earlier” for my guests to taste, and for me to explain how they are made.  This dish we had on holiday in Oman.  The Al Husn hotel has the most magnificent and authentic Moroccan restaurant called Shahrazad, http://www.shangri-la.com/muscat/barraljissahresort/dining/restaurants/shahrazad/

On the night we dined there, we were amazed by the ease of getting some wonderful plant-based food.  We started with a mezze plate of Moroccan salads, had this soup and then a tagine and a cous-cous.  Quite a feast!

The soup really impressed me by it’s apparent simplicity, which transformed some cheap and ordinary ingredients into the most luscious and delicious velvety flavoursome soup.  It’s also dead easy to make, although I did have to modify the recipe as the original from the chef called for 2 Kilos of lentils!
To make it plant-strong, I also removed the olive oil, it lost nothing in flavour for this omission, other than empty calories.

For a very generous pot, which would service 6-8 people:

Ingredients:

3 cups of Red Lentils (you can rinse them or pre-soak them – i did neither)

5 White or Brown Onions, roughly chopped

3 Cloves of Garlic Peeled and chopped

2 Tsp of Vegetable Stock Powder (Optional, but gives better background taste than plain water)

2 Cups of Broad Beans (I used frozen ones)

1/4 Cup of Ground Cumin

1/4 Cup of Sweet Paprika (not the smoked one)

2 Tsp of Chilli Powder/Flakes (The original calls for the same amount of all spices – i’d start with less chilli)

5-6 Cups of Water (More to let it down once blended)

Method:

In a large saucepan, place the lentils, onions, garlic, vegetable stock powder and spices.  Cover with water.  Bring to the boil, and leave to simmer covered for about 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are thoroughly cooked.  They should be a mush.  You may need to add more water as you go.

Allow to cool and then blend in a blender or food processor until completely smooth and creamy.  Again, you may need to let it down with additional water.

Taste and adjust seasoning at this point.  You may want to add some more chilli (remember you can add but its hard to take it away), as well as some salt/herbamare and pepper.

Note that this is better if it is made at least a day in advance and reheated as the flavours really do improve.

To serve, shake a few drops of lemon juice or lemon oil and a few drops of hot sauce and a sprig of coriander.

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