Place the ham chunks, onion and 6 cups of water in a medium to large soup pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Add the lentil or split peas and BERBERE and reduce heat to low. If you are using lentils, they are smaller and cook faster, so you can add the chopped potato and carrot along with them. If you are using green or yellow split peas, add them first and cook for 30 minutes before adding the other veggies. Cook until the lentils/peas have pretty much dissolved and thickened the broth. Also, lentils can stick to the bottom of the pot so keep the heat low. Add more water as it cooks if it starts getting really thick. Different lentils and peas absorb more or less water, so it is difficult to give an exact amount. Some people like the stew more brothy as well, and some like to stop cooking before the lentils or split peas totally dissolve. Taste and add salt as desired before serving.
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 90 minutes
Roasted Carrot Broth:
Cut up 1 lb. peeled carrots and thinly slice 1 onion and 1-2 cloves of garlic. Toss with 2 TB. olive oil. Roast at 375° until browned and squishy, tossing every 10 minutes or so. This takes about an hour or so, depending on how thick/woody the carrots are. Use a potato masher to mash it all up as fine as you'd like. Mix this with another raw sliced onion and 6 cups of water, making sure to use a little water to get the delicious browned bits up off the roasting pan. Proceed with the recipe above, substituting the carrot broth for the ham, onion and water.
Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Yield: enough roasty carroty goodness to be the basis for one pot soup or stew
Servings 11; Serving Size 1 cup (263g); Calories 170; Calories from fat 20; Total fat 2g; Cholesterol 25mg; Sodium 105mg; Carbohydrate 25g; Dietary Fiber 4g; Sugars 2g; Protein 14g.