Yellow Pea and Coconut Milk SoupThe Soup
2 cups yellow split peas, rinsed and soaked for at least one hour
2 bay leaves
Sea salt freshly ground pepper
2 to 4 tbsp butter, light sesame oil, or a mixture
1 large onion, finely chopped
¼ cup minced cilantro stems
1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
1 15 ounce can of coconut milk (I use light coconut milk)
Juice of 1 large lime, or to taste
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
½ cup rice
½ tsp each ground turmeric and paprika
¼ tsp each cumin seeds and freshly ground pepper
½ cup yogurt
Large bunch of spinach, stems removed, well washed
1. Once you have soaked the peas, drain them and put them in a pot with 2 quarts water, the bay leaves, cloves and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered.
2. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat then add the onion and cilantro stems. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to colour and soften, about 10 minutes. Add the spices and ½ cup of water from the simmering peas and cook until the water has cooked away. Add the onion to the simmering peas and continue cooking until both a very soft, about an hour in all. Remove the bay leaves and cloves, then puree. Return the soup to the stove and stir in the coconut milk. Add the lime juice then taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
3. To finish, bring 1 cup water to a boil then add ¼ tsp salt and the rice. Give it a stir, lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook until the rice has absorbed the water and is done, about 15 minutes. Combine the spices with the yogurt and set aside. In a separate skillet, wilt the spinach in the water clinging to its leaves, then chop it coarsely. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, divide the spinach leaves among them, then add the cooked rice to each bowl and serve with a spoonful of the spiced yogurt.
Makes 10 cups
From Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen