Slightly spicy, with a hint of sweetness from cinnamon and sweet potatoes, this Spiced Chicken and Lentil Soup is a hearty meal in one – especially when you add garlic toast. I learned the trick of rubbing cloves of garlic on hot toast from, Giada. Must be how they do it in Italy.
Back home in Philly, I used to watch my grandfather from Transylvania eat whole garlic cloves, with a glass of milk to wash it down. Grandpa lived to 96, in addition to the grace of G-d we credit garlic. The next generation in our family tempered the garlic tradition by substituting fresh sliced garlic on toast, drizzling it with olive oil and salt (or butter instead of olive oil). I remember my dad buttering his bread with a layer so thick it held the garlic like glue.
For you, I tempered it even more, and took a cue from Giada. Just rubbing the garlic cloves onto hot toast infuses the bread with a hot garlic flavor that is not too overpowering. Within a day or two, you can go to work and your colleagues won’t even smell the garlic on you. But if you can handle it (and have a vacation day tomorrow), go garlic (as described above)! It’s such a nice complement to the soup’s earthy rich flavors – there’s a hint of exotic North African flare with cumin – not to mention coriander and ginger. And it’s packed with protein from the chicken and lentils. There are so many different layers of flavor and texture in this soup! It eats like a meal (and you won’t wear it on your breath).