Spring is in the air, herbs in my little garden already wake up after winter. Mint, parsley, borage and nasturtium flowers, aromatic and full of vitamins. Can’t wait to see asparagus and broad beans on a farmers markets.
My dinners transformed into lighter meals with seasonal vegetables, greens, and herbs.
This dish speaks of both winter and spring, the hearty soup will keep you warm during a chilly evening and treat your taste buds with delicious vegetables. Fresh and sweet baby carrots, creamy orange kumara and smooth pumpkin, I cook them separately to save delicate texture and taste, then serve on thick lentil soup.
Lentils are protein-rich and makes great vegetarian soups. You can get this hearty vegetarian dinner on the table in just about 30 minutes. The lentil soup recipe inspired by Indian cuisine, this is a simple and quick version of the famous Indian Dhal. I use Ethiopian Wat sauce for a flavorful soup base. Mamia’s Wat sauce combining a list of ingredients such as onion, garlic, ginger, chili, Berbere spice mix, and herbs. Berbere spice mix smells fantastic. This is a deeply flavorful combination of spicy and sweet, the Ethiopian equivalent of garam masala plus a roundup of Ethiopian inspired recipes.
Try to add the sauce twice for layering flavor.
One Indian chef taught me to add spices to the curry two or three times during the cooking process. These spices add rich layers of flavours and aromas.
Mamia`s sauces are vegan-friendly. Prepared with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Sauces available in three options: medium spicy, mild and kiwi hot.
For roasting vegetables: Spread them out evenly into one layer – this is important, as you want them to roast, not steam as they will if you have them all on top of each other.
- 1 orange kumara (sweet potato), peeled
- 300g peeled pumpkin
- bunch of baby carrots, scrubbed, washed and drained
- olive oil
- garlic olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Berbere spice mix
- 1 cup split red lentil (or mung beans)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup Mamia’s sauce + 1 Tbsp (I use Kiwi Hot sauce)
- 3 cups baby spinach, washed and drained
- green onion finely sliced
- coriander leaves
- mint leaves
- crispy rice topping
- For roasted vegetables. Preheat the oven up to 180C.
- Cut pumpkin and kumara into big chunks, carrots into halves. Combine all vegetables in the big bowl, drizzle with olive oil and a little bit with garlic oil, season with Berbere mix and salt. Toss to coat.
- Tip the vegetables into the tray. Spread them out evenly into one layer – this is important, as you want them to roast, not steam as they will if you have them all on top of each other.
Roast vegetables in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until soft inside and crispy outside.
- For soup. Wash lentils in a big bowl a few times then drain well.
- Heat a big saucepan, add Mamia’s sauce. Cook slowly on a low heat until fragrant about 2 minutes. Add washed and drained lentils and 4 cups of good quality vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and decrease to a light simmer. Cook, covered, for about 20-25 minutes until the lentils are tender. Add one tablespoon of Mamia’s sauce for layering of the taste. Adjust the seasoning, then gently stir in the spinach and remove from heat.
- Serve hot with roasted vegetables, fresh herbs, and crispy rice topping. Enjoy!