Jesse Cooks: Moroccan Lentil Stew

TGIF!! Is it just me or has this week seemed so long? I went to CPTC practice last night, but in lieu of doing the scheduled tempo run (my legs are still tired from the 1/2 marathon), I ran easy with some teammates. I ended up running for about 1 hour and 19 minutes – maybe 9 miles or so? I’ve been running easy (i.e. no speed workouts), trying to eat well, and getting lots of sleep this week because I’m actually racing again on Sunday. Eeek! The NYRR Colon Cancer 15K is being held in Central Park and this will be my 3rd year participating. It’s a fun race and an interesting distance – I’m excited 🙂

And now for a special Friday treat! My friend Jesse cooked up a delicious Moroccan lentil stew recipe (and fancy salad) and agreed to share the recipe. Enjoy!


Gourmet Salad


  • Mixed Greens
  • Carrots
  • Dried cranberries
  • slivered almonds toasted w/ sesame oil
  • feta cheese
  • a home-made balsamic dressing (2/3 olive oil, 1/3 balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, and some dry mustard whisked together)

I usually make the dressing in the bottom of the bowl then marinate the feta and other non-greens ingredients for a little while before tossing in the greens.

Moroccan Lentil Stew

Growing up my mom would make lentil soup often as it’s a cheap, quick, easy, and healthy meal. Being my mother’s son, I continue to make lentil soup once in a while (I remember one incident with way too much ground pepper…no need to go into that now though).  Recently I came across a recipe in Wegman’s “Menu” magazine for a Moroccan Lentil Stew and had to try it out for myself.  As I always do with written down recipes, I went a head and changed around the ingredients to fit my tastes.  So here’s my take on the Moroccan Lentil Stew:

Ingredients for a lot of stew.  This fed Jen, my mom, and I plus plenty to freeze for later!


  • Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup dry lentils (soaked for a few hours then simmered until mostly cooked)
  • 1 can chick peas (drained and rinsed – this time I actually bought some dry garbanzo beans and soaked/cooked them. They had good flavor, but were more time consuming than using a can.)
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 qt. veggie stock (I used my own, but use low sodium if you buy store bought)
  • My big addition: 1/2 cup raisins

The spices (I took the amounts in the recipe and put in a whole lot more, these amounts are mine.)

  • 1 Tbsp Coriander Seed (ground)
  • 2 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnamon (gives the stew a great sweet flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Powder
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

The process:


Add the oil to a big soup pot on medium and saute the onion and garlic until tender.  Stir in the other veggies and saute until they’re tender.  Once the veggies are mostly tender, toss the spices into the mix then stir in the stock, lentils, and crushed tomatoes.

 Simmer the stew for 20 minutes or so, add the chickpeas and raisins, and simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until it’s the consistency you’re looking for.

We enjoyed the lentil stew with some half white, half wheat peasant bread from a cafe near one of the stores where I teach (and a few glasses of a great Australian red wine).  It was a super filling and delicious stew: sweet and a little bit spicy!

jesse's stew

Hope you enjoy it!  Jesse

Question: What’s your favorite kind of stew/soup?

  • racing again? damn girl, you’re crazy! i think i’m still recovering from last sunday, hah. love the stew – and that your friends cook for you! 🙂 my favorite soup is my mom’s famous curried red lentil soup. it’s seriously the BOMB.

  • Wow, I’ll do the race on Sunday too, but it will be the first time I run more than 5 miles in a race. Pretty scary !
    Do you know that according to an old French tradition, you must have lentils on the 1st of every month ? It’s supposed to bring wealth.

  • I love me some good irish stew:)

  • Oooh that sounds delicious! I never really eat stews though (wish I did!). But I love really thick smooth soups – I make a mean squash soup :p

  • This sounds yummy! I also want to try mama pea’s african peanut stew. Yumm that sounds amazing

  • Sounds delicious! I’m not sure I have a favorite. I loved a simple clam chowder growing up, until I realized how insanely unhealthy it is! I do love to try new soups and stews though, so I should try this recipe!

    Good luck with the race on Sunday!

  • Thanks Jesse! That stew looks CRAZY good!

  • Thanks, Jesse! I love lentils – fast-cooking and cheap and tasty. Also, Moroccan-spiced anything gets a thumbs-up in my book of not-too-high standards.
    I love cooking easy chilis and minestrone, but my current soup darling is a mushroom barley soup at Fat Free Vegan. Boring blog name, awesome soup.

    And I’m excited to race too! Except also super nervous! Who races at 11?! That’s brunch time.

  • Laura

    good luck this weekend! i am traveling upstate to run the mudders and grunters with some friends. it’s a five mile mud race! though i WISH i had signed up for the colon cancer run, because–WHOAH–11 o clock start time?!

  • good luck with your race! that salad and stew look great. i actually made a morroccan grilled salad once-very good 🙂
    i probably love chili the most when it comes to soups/stews.

  • LOVE baked potato soup. Also I just started making cheeseburger soup; that’s good too.

  • Good luck in the race. I actually really like the 15k distance, I don’t know why!

  • The week was too long!

  • I LOVE gumbo type soups! They are so easy to make healthy (but if you go to the wrong place, it’s easy to find some unhealthy, buttered and sausage-ed up versions)

  • This looks delicious! I love spicy vegetable soup or an irish stew is always comforting and lovely.

  • Morocco is like a tree with roots in Africa and branches in Europe. I really like everything from morocco. especially food from morocco, last time in morocco I tried “Moroccan Lamb or Beef Tagine with Apricots”. Sweet and spicy tagine is a savoury combination of dried apricots and meat stewed with saffron, cinnamon, ginger and pepper.