Derek really liked the last red lentil dish I made from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, and I love Ethiopian food, so I thought I’d try SusanV’s Ethiopian inspired red lentil soup.
The recipe calls for a non-stick pan, but I used my stainless steel 3 quart saucepan, and added a tsp. of olive oil to saute the onion. My choice of pan was a mistake however, as this recipe makes about 4 quarts of stew! I wish SusanV had mentioned this when specifying a pan. Once the lentils were done cooking and I had to add in all the vegetables I had to move the stew into my 6 quart casserole pan. I used frozen green beans and frozen spinach and canned tomatoes, but even so making the stew took longer than I had expected. I didn’t want to mix up a large batch of berbere, so I thought I’d just add each spice directly to the pot. SusanV says to add 1/8 tsp. of each spice, but that would only add up to about 1/2 Tablespoon of berbere, whereas the recipe calls for 2 to 3 Tablespoons. I’m not sure why her numbers are off, but I added about 1/2 tsp. of each spice. I added less than a quarter teaspoon of cloves and allspice, as these spices are much stronger than the others. I was surprised that the recipe calls for them in the same quantities as the other spices.
The final dish is more like a thick, creamy vegetable stew than a red lentil soup. The stew tastes very healthy and is pretty filling, and the flavor is fine, but the dish is a tad boring. I served the dish with dosas and raita, and Derek said it was okay as a dosa filling, but not tasty enough to serve for company. It’s possible that if I had made the berbere mix and put in the full amount of all the spices the flavor would have been better, but I doubt it. It was actually pretty strongly seasoned, just not a terribly interesting seasoning.