When I was a teenager I had my first experience with Ethiopian food. It was an experience unlike anything I’d had before! I had gone with my mother and one of her friends to a local Ethiopian restaurant. I remember we sat on the floor on pillows and there wasn’t any utensils on the table, instead we used a special bread to pick up our food. It was so much fun!! For those of you that haven’t had the opportunity to experience this special treat, let me explain a little about how this works. An Ethiopian meal comes on a large plate (or platter, if the whole table is sharing, which is encouraged) with several different dishes placed on top of their special bread. There is additional bread that is served on the side to use to pick up the food. In this process, some of the dishes merge with others and new flavors are made. If you’ve never had Ethiopian food, I highly recommend it! The flavors are simply amazing. They use unique combinations of spices with different beans and vegetables.
Now, as an adult, I still enjoy going to a restaurant that isn’t far from my house, with my mom and son. My son regularly asks me to take him there. Sometimes when I need a night off from cooking, we head there for the special food. The first of my favorite dishes is made with yellow split peas, lemon juice, and garlic. The second dish is made with potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, and turmeric.
One of these days I will get up the courage to make an authentic Ethiopian meal at home. Until that day comes, I have this soup. I combined the flavors of two of my favorite Ethiopian dishes to make this soup and it didn’t disappoint! It has a great combination of subtle and bold flavors that is neither too bland nor too strong. It is very easy to make and doesn’t take a long time to cook. It’s perfect with a salad and a slice of crusty bread!
Yellow Split Pea Soup
1 TBS olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
10 cups water 1tsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp mustard
14oz pkg of dried yellow split peas
1 1/2 cups carrots, cut at a diagonal
1/2 head cauliflower
3 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
2 cups yukon gold potato, cut into chunks
In a soup pot, heat oil on medium heat and add onion. Saute until softened. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Immediately add the water and turn the heat to high. Add cumin, turmeric, mustard, salt, pepper, and split peas. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer for about 20-30 mins or until peas start to become tender. Don’t let the peas break down to much or they become mushy. Add carrots, cauliflower, and lemon juice. Simmer for about 10 mins. Add potatoes and cook additional 5-10 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
Makes about 8-10 servings