Quick! Try Easy Soups From Scratch With Breads To Match

By Jo Mancuso (OPB)
Nov. 2, 2017 8:45 p.m.

"Soup is not a full meal," according to Portland's Ivy Manning. "As a kid, I was always looking for the packet of crackers."

Ivy Manning includes 70 recipes to pair and share in “Easy Soups From Scratch with Quick Breads to Match.” Her promise: a hearty, flavorful soup and warm, textured bread from stove to table in under an hour.

Ivy Manning includes 70 recipes to pair and share in “Easy Soups From Scratch with Quick Breads to Match.” Her promise: a hearty, flavorful soup and warm, textured bread from stove to table in under an hour.

Courtesy of Chronicle Books

"I'm interested in this from the anthropological angle. I've traveled the world — at least in my mind — and every culture has a soup and a bread."

As a cooking instructor at Bob's Red Mill in Milwaukie and Whole Foods Market in Portland's Pearl District, Manning was inspired by her students, who were always pressed for time. Author of five other cookbooks, Manning developed "Easy Soups From Scratch with Quick Breads to Match" — 45 flavorful soups and 25 textured breads to pair — to meet the time-and-taste challenge.

"It sounds intimidating, but you can churn out savory quick breads while the soup is simmering," Manning said, so you've got a satisfying homemade meal on the table in under an hour. The cookbook even has two ribbon bookmarks for flipping between the paired dishes.

Read More: How To Practice Safe Soup

Many recipes offer from-scratch and convenience alternatives. "If it's the weekend and you're puttering around, you can make your own broth," Manning said. "But if it's a weeknight and you're juggling, I'm going to give you cheffy little tips" like buying prepped beets and carrots at the grocery store instead of roasting them.

The book includes a toolbox of ingredients to boost or build layers of flavor; basic broth, beans and bread-dough recipes; how-to basics; and troubleshooting for when all seems lost. Tip: Since most of the breads rely on chemical leaveners instead of yeast for lift, Manning advises changing out your baking powder and baking soda every six months.

Don't think you're quite ready for the Savory Teff Pancakes that accompany this Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Soup? "You can punt and buy naan bread. Whole wheat will complement the toasty quality and flavors of the soup," Manning said.

Manning predicts "we're going to get the worst of soup weather" in the Pacific Northwest as fall turns to winter. Hearty soup and warm, chewy bread? "I almost look forward to the rain."

Manning will join other local authors at the Portland Culinary Alliance's annual holiday cookbook social on Dec. 3.

Practicing Safe Soup

Don't let cooked soup sit out indefinitely, cautions Ivy Manning, even if you plan to eat it all before eventually staggering from the table. If it remains in the danger zone (between 40 and 140 degrees F), bacteria can multiply rapidly. Once it's been contaminated, even if you follow storage directions, it can make you sick. Your goal is to get it out of the danger zone quickly.

  1. Remove soup from the cooking pot, which retains heat
  2. Transfer to a large wide-rimmed bowl (like metal or glass, not plastic)
  3. If it's especially thick or viscous or you've doubled the batch, plunge an ice paddle into the middle of the soup. Buy these at specialty stores or make your own by filling plastic pint (or similarly sized) bottles half- to three-quarters full and freezing.
  4. Refrigerate the bowl until soup reaches 39 degrees F or lower
  5. Store soup in airtight 1-quart zip-top freezer bags or 1-quart plastic or glass containers (leave at least 1/2 inch of space under the lid to allow soup to expand as it freezes)
— Jo Mancuso

Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Soup — made with a complex berbere spice blend — is accompanied by Savory Teff Pancakes, a spongy bread called injera in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Soup — made with a complex berbere spice blend — is accompanied by Savory Teff Pancakes, a spongy bread called injera in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Dina Avila

Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Soup

"This spicy, thick lentil soup acquires its complex flavor from berbere, an East African spice blend that includes coriander, fenugreek, dried chiles, and fried shallots. You can find packaged berbere spice at international markets and online, but it's fun and easy to make it yourself so I've included directions for making it here. You will have enough for two batches of soup. Or try the leftover mixture on popcorn, fried eggs, or as a rub for grilled meats!

"Serve the soup with Savory Teff Pancakes, tearing off pieces of the spongy, crêpe-like breads with your hands and using them to scoop up the thick soup." — Ivy Manning


Prep: 50 minutes (20 minutes active) | Average

4 to 6 servings


Berbere spice blend

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup (30 grams) dried fried shallots*
  • 3 to 6 dried red chiles de arbol, stemmed, seeded, and broken up
  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

*Shelf-stable, available in plastic containers in Asian markets

Red lentil soup

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium Anaheim chiles, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups (630 grams) red lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil

To prepare

  1. To make the spice blend: Toast the coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, peppercorns, cardamom pods and cloves in a small, dry saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let the toasted spices cool slightly and transfer them to a spice grinder along with the fried shallots and dried chiles. Grind the spices until the mixture is finely ground, about 1 minute. (Alternatively, grind the spices with a mortar and pestle.) Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and add the paprika, salt, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  2. To make the soup: Heat the oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and Anaheim chiles and sauté, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 3-1/2 tablespoons of the berbere and the tomato paste and stir to combine.
  3. Add the lentils, 8 cups (2 liters) cold water and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently to make sure the lentils don't stick to the bottom of the pot, until the lentils are fall-apart tender, 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with a dab of butter, and sprinkle with a generous pinch of berbere. Serve immediately.

Get ahead: Store the cooled soup in airtight containers or zip-top plastic freezer bags in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat gently over low heat, adding a bit of water if needed to adjust the consistency. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and additional berbere, if necessary, to wake up the flavors.

Store the spice blend in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 months.

Savory Teff Pancakes

"This spongy flatbread or pancake, called injera in Ethiopia and Eritrea, doubles as both bread and an eating utensil—you use the bread to pick up bites of stew with your hands. Traditionally the bread is made with 100 percent teff flour—an ancient grain with a lovely toasty cocoa-bitter flavor and aroma. I add a little all-purpose flour to make the breads a bit sturdier and easier to flip. Normally the batter is fermented for 24 hours or so to give the bread its characteristic spongy texture and pleasantly sour flavor; I use beer for a similar bubbly texture and plain yogurt for sour tang, so the bread batter is ready to go in 5 minutes flat. These breads reheat well, so you can make them a few days ahead." — Ivy Manning

Prep: 15 minutes (10 minutes active) | Average

8 pancakes


  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon [130 gram] teff flour*
  • 1/2 cup [70 grams] all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-1/4 cups [300 ml] lager beer (don't measure the foam)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons [90 grams] tangy plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil

*Available in some grocery bulk-food sections; Manning recommends Bob's Red Mill brand in the baking aisle.

To prepare

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, the nutritional yeast, baking soda, and salt. Add the beer and yogurt and whisk until smooth. The mixture should resemble thin pancake batter. (Depending on the thickness of your chosen yogurt, you may need to add more beer or water to the batter to make it spread easily in the pan. You'll be able to gauge any adjustments after making the first pancake.)
  2. Heat a large nonstick pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-low heat. Brush the pan with a little of the safflower oil, stir the batter, and scoop up 1/3 cup [80 ml] of the batter with a measuring cup or ladle. Take the pan off the heat, and quickly pour the batter into the pan, immediately tilting the pan and rotating it so the batter spreads out into a 10-inch [25-cm] pancake. Return the pan to the stove, cover, and cook until the injera is firm and springy to the touch and no longer sticky, about 1-1/2 minutes. Remove the lid and let the bread cook for a few seconds more to evaporate any condensation that has dripped off the lid into the pan.
  3. Slide a silicone spatula under the edges of the bread to release it from the pan and flip or slide the pancake onto a dinner plate. Cover the plate tightly with aluminum foil and continue cooking the breads, stirring the batter before cooking the next one, until all the batter is used.
  4. Serve the pancakes warm.

Get ahead: Stack the cooled pancakes, tightly wrap in foil, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, unwrap the breads, wrap them in a few dampened paper towels, and microwave on high for 1 minute, or until heated through.

Excerpted from “Easy Soups From Scratch with Quick Breads to Match,” copyright 2017 by Ivy Manning. Photographs by Dina Avila, copyright 2017 by Chronicle Books. Republished with permission from Chronicle Books.