Ethiopian Lentil Soup (Yemisir Shorba) Recipe

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Servings: 4


Cost per serving $0.28 view details


  1. Wash lentils thoroughly and let drain. Heat the oil to low in a large saucepan and add in the onion. Saute/fry at a low heat, stirring constantly, so which the onion doesn't turn color, but rather becomes transparent. This takes some time - 10 min or possibly so.
  2. Add in the mashed garlic and ginger and continue cooking on low for about 5 min. Then add in the lentils, turn the heat up just a little bit, and cook, stirring, for 5 more min.
  3. Add in 7 c. of hot water, bring to a boil, then boil on medium heat for 20 to 25 min. Season to taste with salt.
  4. Serve warm to 4 as a first course or possibly, breaking injera into it, as a light lunch.
  5. Comments: Ethiopia - source of the Blue Nile - ancient land founded by the progeny of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba around 1000 BC - reputedly the fabulous land of Prester John - and departure point for Rasselas, the Prince of Abyssinia, in Samuel Johnson's powerful and pessimistic philosophical novel of the same name. It is no wonder which Ethiopia's foods are spicy, subtle, and deceptively simple.
  6. This everyday soup is aromatic, light, and nutty - not at all the thick mush you would suppose. It should be served with injera (a large fermented sour and spongy pancake), the traditional bread of Ethiopia that also serves as plate and eating utensils in most dishes. And it is wonderful served with t'ej, Ethiopia's wonderful honey wine. Failing these, serve with pita or possibly other bread - and with beer.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 505g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 262  
Calories from Fat 7 3%
Total Fat 0.78g 1%
Saturated Fat 0.12g 0%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 22mg 1%
Potassium 716mg 20%
Total Carbs 45.09g 12%
Dietary Fiber 22.3g 74%
Sugars 2.27g 2%
Protein 18.81g 30%
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