Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Yellow Curried Split Pea and Potato Soup

Another of my grocery-store check-out line finds, this recipe is a wonderful cold weather treat. Surprisingly filling, you don't have to go out of your way to serve it with much else. It would be good with some Indian spice tea and hot Indian bread (such as buttery, whole-wheat Paratha/ crispy-fried poppadums with tamarind dipping sauce/ or just plain, warm, puffy naan). You can substitute green vegetables instead of red if you just don't have the red, but the color of the soup will be more of a green-pea color and not as appealing aesthetically. The flavor, however, will not be much different. This is a nice meal for two (especially since the kids tend to balk at curried dishes, at least mine do!). I made this last on our "date night" and my husband had two bowls!

1 tablespoon hot chili oil or vegetable oil (you can add hot spices instead)
1 large red bell pepper, chopped (1.5 cups)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large carrot, diced (1 cup)
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 red jalapenos, finely chopped and seeded
1 1/4 cups dried yellow split peas, sorted and rinsed
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can (14 oz) unsweetened coconut milk
Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce (see other recipe below)

Sauce Ingredients
1/2-1 cup plain yogurt
2.5-3.5 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2-1 teaspoon grated lime peel

Heat oil in 3 quart sauce pan over medium high heat. Cook bell pepper, onion, carrot, ginger, garlic and chilies in oil, stirring occasionally until onion is tender.

Mix Sauce ingredients and set aside in refrigerator to blend flavors (chill at least 30 minutes).

Stir in remaining ingredients except Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce. Heat to boiling and reduce heat. Cover and simmer 35-45 minutes or until peas and potatoes are tender. Top each serving with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce in dollops here and there. Garnish with fresh cilantro (optional).

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