RED LENTIL SOUP

With Freekeh, Spinach, & Za'atar Seasoning

Makes: 6 servings

1 8-ounce package cracked freekeh
    (1 cup dry or about 2 cups cooked)
3 cups water
32 ounces vegetable broth
olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cups carrots, diced
1 cup dry red lentils
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 8-ounce bag of fresh spinach, or about 2 cups of loose spinach
8 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger or 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
3 tablespoons za’atar seasoning
dash of cayenne pepper
sea salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle olive oil in a large stock pot and heat on medium.  Toss in diced garlic, onion and carrots and cook for about 2 minutes.  Stir in the seasonings and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add in freekeh, lentils, tomatoes, vegetable broth, and water.  Stir well.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 30 minutes or more.  Add more water if desired.  Season to taste.  Add in spinach and stir until leaves wilt and reduce in volume.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  Serve with a tablespoon of za’atar spice sprinkled on top.