What’s cooking: Lentil soup and menemen

As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland, I have a limited food budget. But I also love food–both eating and making it. During PST, I cooked without an oven, refrigeration, and a non-stick skillet. Now at my permanent site, I have all three, though at a cost. This occasional series will highlight my cooking and baking and the recipes I use.

After spending a month in Turkey last year, there are many days where I wish for an excellent Turkish meal. Two of the easiest foods to prepare are lentil soup and a tomato and egg dish called menemen. I eat these dishes with a tasty slice of bread and I quickly return to the wonderful dinners of Turkey.

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Difficulty: Easy
Cost of supplies: E20
Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 3

Tools needed:

  • Cutting board
  • Pairing knife
  • Measuring cup
  • Large pot
  • Skillet
  • Spatula

Lentil soup ingredients:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 5 c water
  • Dried chicken stock cube
  • Cumin, to taste
  • Paprika, to taste
  • Cayenne, to taste

Recipe:

  1. In pot, heat olive oil.
  2. Once hot, cook vegetables until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add lentils, water, and chicken stock, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils fall apart, about 30 minutes.
  5. Add spices to taste.

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  6. If you want a thinner soup, add more water, a 1/2 cup at a time.

Menemen ingredients:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 fresh eggs
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne, to taste
  • Cumin, to taste

Recipe:

  1. In skillet, heat oil.
  2. Cook vegetables until tomato juice is reduced and onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
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  3. Make three wells in the vegetables.
  4. Crack one egg at a time into a cup and pour egg into one of the wells. If egg is not fresh, the yolk will crack. For best appearance, use eggs with solid yolks.

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  5. Cook the eggs until the yolks are set, about five minutes.
  6. Pour eggs and tomatoes out of skillet or separate each and remove each egg with a wide spatula.

Serve lentil soup and menemen with crusty bread or pitas.

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This entry was posted in Africa, Peace Corps, Swaziland, What's cooking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What’s cooking: Lentil soup and menemen

  1. Brittany says:

    Looovee me some lentils.

  2. I think that tastes good!

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