Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Garam Masala Yellow Split Pea Soup

     A Nice Warm Comfortably Spiced Vegetarian Soup!
     Garam Masala is a North India is a complex mixture of spices that creates a gentle, comfortable, warming effect.  The best place to find Garam Masala is at an Indian market.  Indian markets sell such a high of a volume of spices, that the spices are always fresh and reasonably priced. 
     Yellow Split Peas are popular worldwide.  Yellow Split Pea Soup is popular in the Caribbean Islands and Indian spices are usually part of the recipe.  Split Pea Soup is popular with vegetarians in India, because it is a good source of protein.  
     To start this soup, a classic Indian cooking method is used to flavor the coconut oil.  Western chefs call this method "popping."  Coconut oil is heated, then mustard seeds and cumin seeds are added.  The pan is gently shaken till a popping noise is heard.  

     Garam Masala Yellow Split Pea Soup:
     This recipe yields 2 1/2 cups.  (1 hearty serving or 2 petite portions.)
     The soup cup size in the photographs above is deceptively large.  Many modern restaurants present soups in large oversize soup cups these days.  The extra large soup cup in the pictures holds a full 2 cup portion of soup!   
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
     Add 2 pinches of whole mustard seed.
     Add 1 pinch of whole cumin seed.
     Gently shake the pan, till a seed popping noise is heard.
     Step 2:  Add 1 minced clove of garlic.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced celery.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced onion.
     Add 1 tablespoon of small chopped carrot.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced seeded jalapeño pepper.
     Add 1 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced tomato.
     Stir the vegetables till they start to cook and become aromatic.
     Step 3:  Add 3 cups of light vegetable broth.
     Add 1 1/4 cups of dried yellow split peas.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of Garam Masala.  
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric.
     Add sea salt to taste.  (About 2 pinches)
     *Do not add white pepper or black pepper!  Both white pepper and black pepper are already in the Garam Masala spice mixture.
     Step 4:  Raise the temperature to medium/medium high heat.
     Bring the soup to a gentle boil.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Gently simmer the soup till the yellow split peas are very tender.
     Step 6:  Use a blending wand (emersion blender), food processor or a fine mesh strainer to puree 1/2 of the soup.
     Step 7:  Return the soup puree to the soup pot.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice.
     Step 8:  Stir the soup and check the consistency.  The soup should have a medium thin consistency that can coat a spoon.  
     *If the soup is too thin, then simmer and reduce the soup.  If the soup is too is too thick, then add vegetable broth.  The finished volume should be about 2 1/4 cups.
     Keep the soup warm over very low heat or in a 135ºF bain marie.
     Ladle the 2 cups of the Garam Masala Yellow Split Pea Soup into a large soup cup or soup bowl.
     Garnish with very thin slivers of the white part of a green onion.  (petite julienne)
     Garnish with a few petite julienne roasted red bell strips.

     The Garam Masala spice mixture gives this soup a nice warm comfortable flavor that is slightly exotic!

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