One of my favorite things about learning to make food from around the world are the bonus lessons that accompany good, wholesome, authentic dishes. Part of the magic that happens when you create a recipe from scratch is the specific flavors that come through during the cooking process. I have found that keeping a dish as authentic as possible, including made-from-scratch pastes and sauces, is a big part of that magic.
Recently, I was doing a bit of recipe testing for my book and decided to make a soup called “Tlavhe.” It’s a traditional “Siryoyo” red lentil soup from my friend, Suheyla, who is a master at creating the yum factor in every dish she makes. The thing loved most about this recipe is the homemade red pepper paste that goes into giving this soup a slight kick of heat and a big burst of flavor. Although you can purchase the pepper paste in a Middle Eastern grocery store, I prefer to keep the recipe as close to its original form as possible since that is part of what sets it apart from any other lentil soup recipe you will find. Best of all, you can use this red pepper paste in many different recipes so you can spread out the fun with your own homemade paste all week long. Find the recipe for Tlahve here.
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