I suspect my readers residing in the Southern hemisphere will appreciate this simple Yellow Split Pea Soup inspired from Yamuna's Table by Yamuna Devi, an hitherto under-appreciated cookbook that I will have more to say about soon. Convert that I am to Ms. Devi's traditional documentation of Indian cookery, I've just recently begun to explore this chronicle of her expanded culinary experiments.
Indian-Style Yellow Split Pea Soup
For the soup:
3/4 cup of yellow split peas (I used a mixture of split peas and toor dal)
2 tablespoons of basmati rice
7 cups of water or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
generous handful of hot peppers (I used a mixture of serrano, jalapeno and green chilies)
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
2 cups of chopped tomatoes
1 carrot, sliced
sea salt to taste
freshly cracked black pepper
For the toasted spice oil:
1 teaspoon of brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
3 tablespoons of chopped parsley for garnishing
Combine all of the soup ingredients in a large pot, except the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, partially cover and simmer for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until the split peas begin to break apart. Puree the soup in a blender or with a hand blender. Season with salt and pepper.
Put the mustard seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat and cover. Shake the pan occasionally. When the seeds begin to pop, add the cumin seeds and oil. Stir for a few seconds and then pour the oil seed mixture into the soup. Cover the soup and let sit for a few minutes. Stir, ladle into bowls and garnish with a bit of the chopped parsley.
Yields 6 servings.