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Dinner Tonight: Carrot, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Soup

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What makes a weeknight meal great? How about one that's little spicy, full of vegetables, and takes under an hour to prepare? Plus, if you're anything like us, you'll take any excuse to add a spoonful of yogurt to as many dishes as possible (bonus points if you use up all of your last yogurt dregs).

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Cue this take on carrot soup, with sweet potatoes, lentils, and Moroccan flavors by way of ras el hanout, a spice blend comprised of over a dozen hot and savory ingredients. With the added harissa, this soup has a little (or a lot, depending on your preferences) of burn. Best of all? It doesn't require great feats of kitchen prowess, and you'll have plenty of this Moroccan-inspired carrot, sweet potato, and lentil soup to save for tomorrow's lunch, or tomorrow's dinner—so you have a little time to relax (and reorganize the spice drawer). 

Grocery List:

(Organized by area of the market)

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Serves 6 to 8

1 medium sweet potato
1 large Vidalia or sweet yellow onion
5 to 6 large carrots
Fresh cilantro (for garnish)
1 cup red lentils
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon harissa paste
2 teaspoons ras el hanout 
Nigella or black caraway (for garnish)

We're assuming you already have olive oil, salt, pepper, and a dollop of Greek yogurt (or sour cream), but if not, add those to your list, too. 

Overview:

With about 45 minutes to dinner, chop the onion, peel and chop the carrots, and peel and chop the sweet potato. In a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the onions for 6 to 8 minutes. When they're transluscent, toss in the sweet potato, carrots, lentils, and spices. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce to a gentle simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. While it's simmering, grab a beer, pull on a cozy pair of wool socks, and catch up on part of a show you missed last week.

When the vegetables are soft, let the soup cool for a few minutes before using an immersion blender to blitz it until smooth and creamy. Taste the soup and season, adding a little more harissa if you're feeling bold. Ladle some into a bowl, top with a big spoonful of Greek yogurt, a sprinkle of nigella, and cilantro, and dinner is served!

Photo by Food52 

Tags: Vegetarian, Soup, Carrot, Lentil, Sweet Potato, Fall, Dinner