The warm and spicy notes of Moroccan cuisine are married with vegetables and nutrient-packed lentils in a creamy, mouthwatering stew. Perfect for cold and frosty days, this stew will please vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.
Press Sauté on the Instant Pot until Normal is highlighted. When the display says Hot, add oil and heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in ras el hanout and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in carrots, lentils, tomatoes with juice, and broth. Press Cancel.
Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing. Press Pressure Cook and adjust the time to 10 minutes. Press Pressure Level until High is highlighted.
When the cooking time is done, press Cancel and turn the steam release handle to Venting. When the float valve drops down, remove the lid. The lentils and carrots should be tender. (If more cooking time is needed, continue pressure cooking on High for 1 minute.)
Using a large glass measuring cup, remove about ¼ to ½ of the lentils. Using the immersion blender, purée the stew in the pot until smooth. Return the lentils in the measuring cup to the pot, stirring to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with sliced lemon garnish, if using.
In step 4, you can increase or decrease the quantity of the lentils you remove from the pot before puréeing depending upon your desired consistency.
Instead of using an immersion blender, you can transfer the stew, in batches, to a countertop blender. After puréeing, return stew to the cooker. Press Sauté until Less is highlighted and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes or until warmed through.
Be very careful when transferring stew, as it is very hot. Do not fill your blender more than half full, to prevent hot stew from spewing out the top.
Do not use green or brown lentils, as the results will not be the same.
The soup can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost soup in the refrigerator or microwave. Reheat soup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through.
For freezer storage, measure soup into serving-size portions and label the container.
Ras el hanout is a traditional Moroccan spice blend that combines many different spices. It can be found in the spice section of well-stocked grocery stores. You can use it on a variety of dishes made with poultry, pork, beef of lamb. It works especially well when combined with honey.
Use a ras el hanout blend without added salt.
If you can’t find ras el hanout, you can make your own. In a small bowl, combine the following ground spices: 1 teaspoon each cumin, ginger and turmeric, 3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1⁄2 teaspoon each allspice, black pepper, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg and paprika, and 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. This recipe makes about 3 tablespoons.