Spiced Yellow Split Pea Soup

splitpeasoup

This soup is how I paid my awesome friend Niqui (Milkitea.com) for the pictures she drew for my blog, food is always my back up plan to pay people back for something when they refuse to take money. I served it with a Honey Wholemeal version of the English Muffin Bread that my whole household has recently become addicted to (a recipe for the Honey Wholemeal version is in the works).

I have a collection of different types of lentils from my dhal making phase, I decided it was finally time to do something with them. Pulses help make any soup hearty and filling without having to add meat. This soup can be served so thick it’s almost standing up or you can thin it with water until it reaches the right consistency for you. The chilli adds a warmth that stays in your mouth as you eat but it’s not spicy by any means. Add less of the spices for a milder flavour, I started off with around half of the amounts below but added more after tasting. Use this recipe as a guideline, take advantage of the spices in your cupboard or just add your favourites if the spices listed below don’t tickle your fancy.

Spiced Yellow Split Pea Soup

Recipe by Ainsley Badman.

Inspired by Clotilde’s Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup over at Chocolate & Zucchini.

1 brown onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

thumb sized piece of ginger, grated finely

2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups dried yellow split peas, rinsed

2 cups vegetable stock

salt to taste

Place a large pot on medium heat, add a splash of oil and then the onion, cook until slightly soft.

Add in the garlic, ginger and all of the spices, cook until fragrant and the onions are well coated in the spices.

Add the carrots, split peas and vegetable stock to the pot, top up with enough water so that the split peas are covered by about 1 cm of liquid.

Bring to a boil then lower the heat until the mixture is simmering, cook covered for 30 minutes (top up with extra water if too much evaporates, the split peas should always be just covered with liquid).

Check the split peas by pinching one between your fingers, if it’s completely soft then they are ready, if not, cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

When the split peas are ready, blend the mixture until smooth using a blender or stick blender.

Add more water until the soup reaches desired consistency, if you do add more water keep the soup over a low heat until hot again.

Taste and add salt until the seasoning is to your liking.

Serve with crusty bread.

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Udon

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This is one of those recipes that is great to have up your sleeve for a quick dinner or side dish. This is the basic incarnation of udon but when we eat it as the main meal I like to add Chinese BBQ Pork or eat it alongside gyoza (japanese dumplings). Even if you don’t like shiitake mushrooms I would still recommend putting them in the soup because they really add depth to the broth. You can get them, mirin and the dashi granules from a lot of supermarkets as well as any Asian supermarket.

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Every time I make this I’m blown away by how something so simple can be SO GOOD! Even though you cook the noodles separately they soak up so much flavour from the soup and the same goes for the shiitake. These are the mushrooms that made me like mushrooms. I prefer to use dried udon noodles because a lot of the frozen soft noodles I’ve tried don’t have the chewiness that I look for in udon but substitute frozen noodles if you like them better. This recipe makes one serving so it’s super easy to multiply for lots of people.

Udon

Adapted from Mamaloli’s Easy Udon over at Mamaloli.

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 tsp granulated dashi

1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 1/2 tbsp mirin

5 pieces dried, sliced shiitake mushrooms

1 spring onion, finely sliced

splash of sesame oil

70g dried udon noodles

Combine all ingredients except for the spring onion and noodles in a medium saucepan.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 mins.

Take off the heat and add spring onion.

In a separate large saucepan cook the udon noodles in boiling water according to packet instructions.

Drain noodles and place in a bowl then pour over the soup.

Serves one.