Ethiopian-inspired Lentil Soup

Lately I felt a bit under the weather. Our office at work is a hive of stinky cold germs at the moment, with every other person being sick,  it’s hard to stay untouched by the seasonal bug. I’m trying to fight it in my own way, hot baths, plenty of liquids (whiskey & Hot Toddy counts too) and also some nourishing soups. This was one of them, super easy to prepare, full of spices and with a kick of ginger.

I used canned green lentil this time, because I needed to eat something quickly. Alternatively you can use a dry lentil of your choice and just cook it longer.

Ethiopian-inspired Lentil Soup

ETHIOPIAN – INSPIRED LENTIL SOUP

(Adapted from The Kitchn)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

 1/4 teaspoon pepper
 1 green chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped
 2-3 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
 4 cloves of garlic
2 cans of green/puy lentil

2 stock cubes (veggie or chicken, whatever you prefer)

about 2 litres of water

about 200g baby spinach

juice of one lemon, plus more lemon wedges for serving

Method:

  1. Sauté the onion in a pan until it starts to brown.
  2. Add all the spices, cook it for  2-3 minutes, then add chilli, ginger and garlic, stir and sauté for a further minute.
  3. Add the lentil, stock cubes, water, bring up to boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer for further few minutes.
  4. Then add the spinach and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Add lemon juice, check for seasoning and serve with extra lemon wedges, if you like.

 

 

Spiced Pear and Ginger Infused Vodka

After the successful making of Sloe Gin for the last few years, I wanted to try more. Here is the recent concoction, which also seems to be a success. We gave it to friend of ours as a present, she liked it and requested the recipe. So, Dina, here is the improved recipe for you 🙂

This is one of those recipes that requires a little time and a lot of patience, rather than skill, and the results are well worth it.

We opened my infusion at around 10 days and liked the flavour. However, the flavour will vary and will deepen with time. I suggest tasting it periodically until the depth of flavour is to your liking.

Spiced Pear infused Vodka

SPICED PEAR AND GINGER INFUSED VODKA

Ingredients:

2 pears, ripe, firm, cored and sliced

1 cinnamon stick

2-3 cm sliced ginger

7 whole cloves

4 cups vodka

1/3 cup sugar

glass jar with lid

Method:

Add all ingredients to the jar, seal, store in a dark, cool location. Taste at 5-7 days. If flavour is desireable, strain vodka into a clean jar and seal until using.

If deeper flavour is desired, continue to infuse until flavour is prefered then strain and seal in a clean jar.

Gingerbread Biscotti

Happy 2016, everyone! I hope your holiday was merry, festive, and relaxing. For some, the celebration still goes on (Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate the Orthodox Christmas!). Still in the festive spirit, I’d like to share with you a recipe for Gingerbread Biscotti, which we sampled in our house over the Christmas break. They are not too heavy or hard, perfectly spiced and ideal with a cup of hot chocolate.

Gingerbread Biscotti

GINGERBREAD BISCOTTI

(Recipe came from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (265 grams) all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring hands
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
A few grinds of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
100 grams butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1/2 cups toasted, chopped nuts or white or dark chocolate chunks (optional, I also, like the original author of the recipe, kept mine plain)
1 large egg white

Plus for sugar dipping (opional):

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 175C. Line one large or two small baking sheets (if yours are small you’ll probably prefer using two, as the logs will spread a lot) with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients — 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, baking powder, spices, pepper and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, butter, 2 large eggs and vanilla. Add wet ingredients along with any optional additions (nuts or chocolate) to dry mixture and stir to combine. It’s going to seem a bit soft and sticky; it’s a-okay.
  2. Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, transfer first half to the prepared baking sheet(s) and form it into a slightly flatted log about 28 cm by 6 1/2 cm, going down one side of a baking sheet intended for two logs, or the center of a baking sheet intended for one log. Repeat with second half of dough. Whisk egg white in a small bowl until a little foamy and loose. Brush over top and sides of each log.
  3. Bake logs until golden brown all over, about 25 minutes. Transfer tray to cooling rack; let cool about 25 minutes, until lukewarm. Gently transfer each log to a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife and gently sawing motion, cut logs on the diagonal into 1 cm wide slices. If using cinnamon-sugar, stir the two together and dip both cut sides in the mixture.
  4. Arrange slices, a cut side down, on baking sheet(s). Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, until golden underneath. Turn each biscotti over and bake for a final 6 to 8 minutes, until lightly bronzed all over. Let cool on rack.

Gingerbread Biscotti