La Tangerina Lentil Soup

Rain, Rain Go Away –

My first day in Tangier, I arrived at the little gem riad in the heart of the Kasbah on the highest peak of the medina of Tangier, La Tangerina. Mustapha dropped me off for a brief break before I went out with my guide to explore the souks.

The charming Spanish owner, Farida, offered me the loveliest suite, up three flights of very narrow steps, the view and my private terrace left no doubt in my mind the trek was worth the panoramic views across the Straits of Gibraltar.

Someone quickly appeared with a snack of warm lentil soup, a fluffy cheese omelet with greens and a fruit salad of tangerines and pomegranate seeds; and of course, the heavenly warm bread that is served everywhere in Morocco and salty black olives, the quintessential lunch in Morocco!

This was one of the best Lentil Soups I’ve ever tasted. Farida used Red Lentils, I have French Green lentils, so this is my interpretation – I think her magic is the sweet paprika, cumin and a little ginger.

Oh, I also add a fat slice of Applewood Smoked Uncured Ham, chopped into fine pieces, Muslims don’t eat pork, but I like the smokiness it adds to the soup.

Total Time: 1 Hour


                        1 Thick slice of Applewood Ham, chopped

                        2 tablespoon olive oil

                        2 large yellow onion, finely chopped

                        3 stalks celery, finely chopped

                        2 medium carrots, diced

                        3 cloves garlic, chopped

                        1 14.5-oz can dice tomatoes I used 4 fresh tomatoes

                        6 cups chicken broth Vegetable broth or water (she used water)

                        1 cup French lentils (lentilles du Puy), or red lentils

1 teaspoon salt I brought home salt from Spain

                        1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon Sweet Paprika – I don’t measure – so to taste.

I also brought Paprika home from Madrid


Heat Olive oil and add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes (with their juices), broth, lentils, ham and spices.

Bring to a boil. Cover partially, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the lentils are tender, 45 to 50 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until the broth is slightly thickened, or to desired consistency.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer about 2 cups of the soup to a blender and purée until smooth, then return the blended soup to the pot. She used a blender, but I found my immersion blender was fine.

Frida mentioned she adds fresh pumpkin in Autumn.

I’ve prepared this yummy hearty soup twice since my return from Morocco.

Simple ingredients, but )شكراً( !oh so delicious! Shukran Farida!

Legendary Chefs and Iconic Art…Only in Paris!

Paris is Always a Good Idea! Do you ever need an excuse to visit the City of Light? Two extraordinary reasons for plotting an autumn visit, the long-anticipated event at the Louis Vuitton Fondation opened in September, the The Morozov Collection. Icons of Modern Art. In addition, cap off the exhibit with an elegant swoon worthy lunch or dinner at the new Paris Pop-up ADMO*.  For 100 days from 10th November onward, two of the most influential chefs in the world will join together at an exceptional event of 100 days of Lunches and Dinners. The Hosts? Legendary chefs Alain Ducasse, Albert Adrià, and French chef Romain Meder.

La Tour Eiffel vue de la Tour Saint-Jacques, Paris août 2014 (2).jpg

The exhibition of the Morozov Collection has taken over the entire galleries of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, presenting the masterpieces from the collection of the brothers Mikhaïl Abramovitch Morozov (1870-1903) and Ivan Abramovitch Morozov (1871-1921). The great early 20th century Muscovite patrons and collectors assembled one of the most exceptional collections of French modern art including Matisse, Bonnard, Picasso, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Renoir, Denis, Cézanne, and Russian modern artists Vrubel, Malevich, Repin, Larionov, Serov. I attended the initial Icons of Art a few years ago and cannot wait to visit this exhibition. Tickets are timed and on line now.

Mosey from the museum and dine at this exceptional gastronomic event. The experimental restaurant project, named ADMO*, in recognition of the three chefs fronting the project, Albert Adrià, Alain Ducasse, and French chef Romain Meder from Plaza Athénée, who has worked alongside Ducasse for many years. The project will be hosted at the rooftop restaurant Les Ombres, at Quai Branly Jacques Chirac Museum in Paris. Dinner is seven courses, lunch is five courses, offered without beverages.

Award winning French pastry chef Jessica Prealpato, who honed her signature style working with Ducasse since 2015, will also play an essential role in the ADMO* project, complementing the trio with her natural fruit desserts.

Both a collaborative platform for imagining a conscious cuisine and an immersive experience, ADMO will celebrate committed gastronomy in Paris.

From Adrià’s Instagram: “the menu will celebrate the unprecedented encounter between the Spanish and French cuisines reunited by the same conscious and sustainable approach.
Get ready for a strong, vibrant and joyful experience.”

If your safe deposit box contains ancient Gold Napoleon Francs, it would be appropriate to cash them. If not, tote your Euros, this extraordinary dining event is très, très cher, when Legends gather, it’s time to toss money to the wind. We’ve reserved six seats for the roof top dinner with a divine view of the glittering Eiffel Tower. And of course, we know the best hotels in Paris!

Les Ombres, Paris