- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (berbere is preferable)
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 2½ cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup brown or green lentils
- 1 Yukon Gold potato, diced
- ¼ cup whole-wheat orzo pasta
This recipe is based on an Ethiopian soup with a rich, deep curry flavor and complex textures. It’s easy to make in a big batch for the week ahead, but it’s so good, don’t expect it to last more than a couple of days.
Over medium-high heat, sauté the onion until it is brown. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the carrot, ginger, garlic, curry powder, and fenugreek, sautéing them for about 1 minute. Add the veggie broth and tomato paste, stirring until the tomato paste is thoroughly combined with the broth. Bring the soup to a simmer. Add the lentils and stir. Once the soup comes back to a simmer, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook the soup for 20 minutes. Add the potato and orzo; cook the soup, covered, for 5 more minutes.
Making It Simple: Bring the veggie broth and tomato paste to a simmer, making sure the tomato paste is thoroughly combined with the broth.
Add the onion, carrot, garlic, ginger, curry, fenugreek, and lentils and proceed with the above recipe as if you had just added the lentils.
The Gourmet Touch: This is an Ethiopian soup, so its flavor is best created using berbere—an Ethiopian curry mix.
Core Concepts: The key to this soup is timing when you add the ingredients. Lentils require time to cook, while diced potatoes and orzo pasta need only a few minutes; these are best added to a soup during the last few minutes of cooking.
Photo by Sylvia Vale
Jason Wyrick is the executive chef and publisher of the magazine The Vegan Culinary Experience. In 2001, Chef Jason reversed his diabetes by switching to a low-fat vegan diet. He is a New York Times best-selling author, has catered for companies such as Google, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and Farm Sanctuary, and has been a guest instructor in the Le Cordon Bleu program at Scottsdale Culinary Institute.View all contributions by Jason Wyrick