Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ethiopian-Style Soup

I say "Ethiopian-Style" soup because the flavours are inspired by the Ethiopian stews I like to make, but is not any "real" Ethiopian dish that I know of. In many ways it is just a simple and thinned down stew packed with that nourishing lentil-y goodness that I love about Ethiopian food. This was also a great way to use the first squash of the season (see below). I used Bonbon which had a delectable texture and gave the soup a wonderful sweetness to offset the spicy heat. It was even better the next day.

Makes a lot
- 2 tbsp margarine
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cup sliced shallots
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 tsp tumeric

- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- berbere to taste
- 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
- 10 cups water
- 6-8 cups chopped squash (or sweet potato)
- 1/4 chopped fresh parsley (more for garnish)
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in a large stock pot over med-hi heat. Add onions and saute for a few mins, until the onions get a nice golden brown on the edges (don't burn them, though). Add shallots, garlic, and ginger and reduce heat to med-lo. Cook for about 20-25 mins, until the mixture has nice brown colour.
2. Add spices and lentils and raise heat back to med-hi, stirring to mix everything well. When sizzling (the spices will stick a bit), add 6 cups of the water. Bring to bubbling, then cover and reduce heat to low. Let cook for at least 30 mins (longer is nicer, if you have the time, so that the lentils and onions can break down), stirring regularly.
3. Add the remaining four cups of water along with the squash and parsley, bring to bubbling over med-hi heat, then cover and reduce heat. Let simmer for 20-30 mins, or until squash is cooked through. Adjust seasonings to taste, garnish, and serve.


Lauren said...

This soup sounds wonderful! Maybe I can convince my husband that savory foods can be delicious when spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (he's skeptical) :). I will definitely be making this soup this fall. Thanks for the recipe!

JL Goes Vegan said...

I love Ethiopian food so this posted popped out of my Google Reader. I love the ingredients and will definitely be making this soon!

Marisa said...

This looks super and I love that it's not too thick either, so it'd make the perfect cold summer's evening soup too.

VeganLinda said...

I made this last night and it was quite good. I used only 1/2 teaspoon of berbere (bought at a restaurant, not homemade) and I would use more next time. It tasted more Indian than Ethiopean to me. I didn't see the teff flour biscuits in time so I'll have to make it again soon. Thanks for another great recipe!

Babette said...

That soup looks wonderful! I'm pretty sure I'll try it soon,

ariel said...

I just made this this morning! I didn't have quite all the ingredients (fenugreek is a bit elusive!) but, I subbed in a small amount of fennel...which is different, but still really good. I'm sure I'll be making this again :)

logicalveganism said...

Ohh, I love Ethiopian food. Have you ever tried to make injeera? It is more precise than the rest. I usually just buy some from the nearest Ethiopian restaurant. :P


Thoughtful Vittles said...

Ooh.. thank you! I know what I'm doing with the next squash I get!

Mihl said...

Thank you for this recipe. It is great! I had a huge pumpkin and didn't know what to do with it until I saw your recipe. I halved it and it's still enough to feed me for four days.

Rachelle said...

This is a good stew. I tweaked it a bit -- for me 1/2 tsp ground cloves was overpowering. Next time I would use 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. (My berbere might have already had some cloves, I can't recall). I ended up adding things some natural peanut butter and some tomato paste and it seemed to do the trick and added a nice richness. I also used a couple of cans of kidney beans in it because I didn't have enough lentils. Came out really tasty.