Golden Curried Pea or Red Lentil Soup
This hearty soup, adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons, features a variation serendipitously discovered by Ricki Heller of Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. Craving pea soup, Ricki pulled out the book, started the soup, and realized she had no yellow split peas. Undaunted, she quickly substituted red lentils and discovered that the soup works just as well with that substitution. Thanks to Ricki for that inspiration, and for the lovely photo here as well.
Serves: 8 or more
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 8 cups water
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 1 pound dried yellow split peas or red lentils, rinsed
- 1/3 cup raw brown rice or barley, rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon good-quality curry powder, more or less to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden.
Add all the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently until the peas are mushy, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
When the peas are done, adjust the consistency with more water as needed, then season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves and serve. This soup thickens considerably as it stands; thin with additional water as needed and adjust the seasonings.