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.

 

 

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Mushroom paté/hummus

I’m still on the fence about what this is. Is it a pâté or is it a hummus? It’s smooth and blended, that’s what unites these two, but it lacks the hefty butter content or cream cheese usually in a pâté. On the other hand it has puy lentils, which can classify it as a hummus. Because of these factors, it is a light, healthy flavoursome blend, which can be spread, dipped in, or topped on salads. Enjoy!
Mushroom pâté

MUSHROOM PATÉ/HUMMUS

Ingredients:

250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

1 small carrot, grated

2 garlic clove, chopped

400g cooked green lentils (puy lentil)

handful of chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in saucepan, add the onion, carrot, garlic and sauté 5-7 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and cooked through, another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove aside.
  2. Place the mushroom mixture along with the cooked lentils, nuts, lemon juice, soy sauce,thyme in the food processor or blender and pulse to the preferred (coarse or smooth) consistency. Season well with salt and pepper, or lemon juice.
  3. Scrape the mixture into a small serving bowl and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.

Mushroom pâté 2

Moroccan Lentil and Lamb Stew

It’s a really hearty, earthy, yet fruity light dish. I can’t say it’s the most presentable creation as the red cabbage lends a distinctive monotone colouring to the whole thing. However, if not made for dinner party, it will impress just as well as a mid week supper. This dish is a winner and a budget friendly one too. I served it with a yoghurt and tahini lemon drizzle to top, but it’s just as good on it’s own.

Moroccan Lamb and Lentil Stew

MOROCCAN LENTIL AND LAMB STEW

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 onions, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves,  finely chopped

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons ground coriander

pinch ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 teaspoon za’tar (optional)

350 g dried green lentil, rinsed

1.5 litre chicken stock

1/2 small red cabbage, finely shredded

400 g lamb leg steaks, diced

50 g dried apricots, chopped

50 g dried currants, chopped (optional)

1 lemon, for squeezing

salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a large casserole heat 1 tablespoon of oil, add the diced lamb and brown over a high heat until it just cooked. Set aside.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the casserole and gently cook the onion until softened. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then add the spices and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Add the lentil and stock and bring to a simmer. Add the cabbage and cook, covered, for 30-35 minutes, until the lentil are tender.
  4. Stir in the apricots, currants and lamb for the final 10 minutes of cooking time.
  5. Check seasoning, squeeze some lemon juice, serve on its own or drizzle with Yoghurt & Tahini dressing.

Yoghurt & Tahini Dressing:

1/4 cup tahini paste, at room temperature

Juice of half a lemon

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups plain yogurt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Mix by hand or blend in a food processor everything up and drizzle on top.
  • The tahini sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.

Moroccan Lentil and Lamb Stew

Lentil Stoup with Italian Sausage

This is a take on Italian Cotechino with lentils, a dish traditionally eaten during Christmas time. It is believed to bring good luck to those that eat it in the year to come. I said it is ‘our take’ because the original version is more like a thick stew, but our came out something between stew and soup, so stoup it is. In any way I love both versions and it is really up to you to make as thick or thin as you like. You can easily double or triple the recipe and make ahead too.

  • It isn’t necessary to soak the lentils, you can even use canned lentils too, but if you have time, please try soaking it overnight prior to cooking, as it’s worth it. It becomes much more tender and absorbs all flavours even more.
  • Also, when you cook lentils, remember to salt them at the end of cooking, rather than the beginning, so that they don’t remain hard.

Lentil Stoup with Italian Sausage

PUY LENTIL STOUP WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE

Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon dry thyme

1 bay leaf

2-3 large carrots, chopped

2-3 large ribs celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

400 g brown or green dry lentils, preferably soaked overnight (optional)

1 tomato (chopped)

3 cups water

3 cups chicken stock or water

1/2 pound Italian sausage (mild, sweet, or spicy, your choice)

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Method:

1. Heat a large, thick-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add a little olive oil and, once hot, add the onion, thyme and bay leaf. Once the onion is translucent, but not yet brown, add the carrots, celery, cook further for about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the lentils, and add them also. Saute for 30 seconds, then add the tomato. Mix well and cover with stock.

2. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft, but aren’t falling apart.

3.  While the lentils are cooking, heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add the Italian sausage (you can fry whole sausages and cut onto the smaller chunks later, but I removed the outer skin of the sausage and broke into smaller pieces by hand). Gently cook, browning pieces all over, until just cooked through. Remove from pan and add to stew for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

4. At the end of the cooking, add a splash of vinegar, season with salt and pepper to taste.