This is a beautiful soup inspired by an Ayurvedic recipe. I adore making it on a drizzly Winter afternoon or a late Summer Sunday night when I feel like we need something nourishing, and even my daughter will eat this. It’s great served with poppadams, that I usually cook in coconut oil holding them flat with tongs as they curl from the heat as we don’t have a microwave. A fresh baguette is delicious too.
Like most of my cooking, there’s a little of this and that and you can certainly mix things up as you like. I usually add in more of the dried spices and the water quantity tends to move about depending on how much water the spinach gives out as well as how much the peas absorb. You just have to experiment. And whatever you do, don’t freeze it, it will last a few days in the fridge if needed, but I try never make more than a day or two ahead anyway as it simply doesn’t taste as good.
THINGS THAT GO IN IT
1 brown onion
Ghee (either make your own, I couldn’t be bothered personally, or buy organic ghee)
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp korma curry powder or whatever you have
1 tsp powdered ginger (you can grate fresh as well)
Dried split yellow peas – about a cup
1 tin coconut milk
Two big handfuls of baby spinach
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
First rinse gently the split peas, I usually take my time here, enjoying the feeling of the grains under water. Then cook the yellow peas in lots of fresh water, skimming off the scum that gathers on the top of the water. This takes about 15 minutes, but just keep an eye on them while you prepare the rest of the dish and then once cooked drain well.
In a heavy bottomed pan (I like Le Creuset) add the onion that has been finely sliced with one large tablespoon of ghee, and gently sauté on a med heat. Then add all the powdered spices and stir around for a minute or so. Add the cooked peas and combine with the onion and spices, then add water until covered and then add the coconut milk. Let this simmer on a low heat for 10 or so minutes so the peas really soften up. I usually check now for depth of spice and add more as needed.
Then add the rinsed baby spinach and the juice of a lemon. In another small frypan, dry roast the coriander and fennel seeds until they pop then add them to the soup. You can serve this with a little more ghee if you like, and sometimes we add a tablespoon of unsweetened greek yoghurt.