This hearty, low-carbon soup is delicious either hot or cold, making it an ideal introduction to an Indian-inspired meal, no matter the weather.
Recipe courtesy of Raghavan Iyer for Bon Appétit Management Company.
3 cups yellow split peas, rinsed
12 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
6 slices fresh ginger (sliced lengthwise, each 2 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 1/8 inch thick), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
3 medium red onions, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced
6 to 8 fresh green Thai, cayenne, or serrano chiles, stems removed, coarsely chopped (do not remove the seeds)
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 medium tomatoes, cored, and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup crème fraîche, whisked
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
1.Bring the peas and 13 1/2 cups water (3 quarts plus 1 ½ cups) to a boil in a large-sized saucepan over medium-high heat; skim and discard any foam that surfaces to the top. Add the garlic and ginger; lower heat and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the canola in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin and allow them to sizzle, turn reddish brown, and smell fragrant, 10 to 15 seconds. Add onion and chilies and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns honey brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the salt, turmeric, tomato, and 1 1/2 cups water. Scrape the skillet to release any browned bits of onion. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomato softens, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape this chunky sauce into the saucepan with the cooked peas.
4. Continue to simmer the peas, covered, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to blend, about 5 minutes. Let the soup cool, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. If you are using a stick blender (also called an immersion blender), you dont need to cool the peas before pureeing. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan and re-warm before serving.
5. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and some of the cilantro.
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