I realize it's spring. But considering it feels like winter and I worked in front of the fire all afternoon, it seems appropriate to share a recipe for a favorite soup. I love all things lentil based, so when I came across this recipe on 101 Cookbooks a while back, I knew it would be a keeper. I made it one chilly night last week when we were expecting a friend for dinner, and it just got better and better with each day's leftovers. I served it with grilled sausage and salad for dinner and with a dollop of rice for lunch. It's also delicious with diced pancetta sautéed and thrown in during Step 3. I'd suggest you hurry up and make it before spring really does set in!
1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup red split lentils (masoor dal)
7 cups water
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons butter or ghee (I used extra virgin olive oil)
8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
One small handful cilantro, chopped
Cooked brown rice or farro, for serving (optional)
- Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse - until they no longer put off murky water. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.
- In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Be careful though, you don't want to burn the curry powder, just toast it. Set aside. Place the butter (or oil) in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Sauté for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and sauté for another minute or two more.
- Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The texture should thicken up, but you can play around with the consistency if you like by adding more water, a bit at a time, if you like. Or simmer longer for a thicker consistency. The thicker this soup got, the more I liked it.
- Sprinkle each bowl generously with cilantro and the remaining green onions.