There are a lot of cultures that take the simplest ingredients – here, lentils – and add a few signature twists that make them special. The signature twists in Ethiopian cuisine, which is always based on humble ingredients, are the warmly spiced clarified butter called nit’r qibe (never ask me to say this, I have no idea) at the beginning of the dish and a sprinkling of berbere, a mix of dried spices, at the end. This one is a classic called Misir Wot, part of the standard rotation of Ethiopian families, I’m told. (Usually this soup is quite fiery, but I kept it mild so my youngest doesn’t squeal spicyyyyyyyy! as he drools the soup out of his mouth and shakes his hands as if possessed by a demon.) It is all I can do not to smother this all over my face I love it so much.
- Stir in baby spinach as the soup reheats
- Serve over rice as a side with roasted chicken or sautéed lamb chops
- Serve over rice with a fried egg on top
- Add a generous pinch of cayenne to make it more traditional (if you dare!)
Show me how you serve it by emailing me your photo! Submissions are automatically entered to win a drawing for a Soup Club cookbook.
Yes, all this fun and love went into the recipe. That’s why it tastes so good.