Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Curried pea soup

I woke up this morning extremely freaked out, my heart was racing; the looming tasks at hand were harassing my sleep all night long. I wanted to go to school this morning to work but I felt ill, my head was pounding (I was probably grinding my teeth all night). I spent a couple of hours at my computer, staring at the pixels, not seeing images or words. I realized that I was not going to shake this nervous energy unless I did something about it. So, I decided to head out for a run despite the clouds rolling in overhead and the persistent ache invading my temples. 

I have never seen so many people out jogging on a weekday afternoon. And everyone was smiling at me. I was sure I had toilet paper hanging out of my long johns or maybe something was on my face. I was passed by two joggers along the way which prompted me to pick up the pace and sweat out my stress. I feel much better now and I am enjoying a hearty, spicy pea soup that I made yesterday afternoon. I added just a touch of my homemade chili flakes and I cannot believe how spicy they made the soup. The peas could have been boiled longer and I wish I'd had fresh ginger on hand but this was the perfect post-run healthy meal I needed on a day that started out a little shaky.

Also, a note on the little apple chips you can see in these photos: I got the idea from a fellow culinary artist and old friend of mine who actually inspired me to start taking photos of my food with her own photos. She makes the most delicious looking tofu dishes, curries and much more. For now she posts her food creations on Flickr, you should check them out, everything she makes looks amazing.

Curried pea soup
Autumn seasonal: carrots, potatoes, onion

This soup was very easy to make and I am sure also very versatile. You could add fresh ginger and celery, use a vegetable stock and dial down the salt and spices. Use sour cream instead of yogurt to garnish or garnish with crunchy croutons.

1 cup dry split peas, soak overnight 
1/2 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 large carrot chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped in cubes
1 tsp each curry powder, ground ginger and ground coriander
1 tsp or more sea salt
4 cups of water
Pinch chili flakes
Chives, green onion and or/cilantro to taste
Pepper, honey and lemon juice to taste
Yogurt and chives to garnish

1 - Heat 1 tbsp of canola oil or grape seed oil in a large soup pot. Saute garlic, onion, carrot and potato for 5 minutes or until lightly browned over medium-high heat. 
2 - Sprinkle in curry powder, ginger and coriander, heat until fragrant about 2 minutes.
3 - Add in salt, chili flakes, water and drained split peas and bring to a light boil. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour until split peas are tender and falling apart.
4 - Let soup cool and process roughly in a food processor. If desired, leave about 1/3 to 1/4 unprocessed so that there are some chunks of potatoes and carrots in the final soup.
5 - Reheat soup and season to taste with about 1 tsp of honey, more salt and pepper and a splash of lemon juice (adding just a little bit of each, the flavours will be more intense once the soup sets and cools).
6 - Simmer the soup uncovered if you desire it to be thicker. I probably simmered mine for an extra 30 minutes.
7 - Serve garnished with a spoonful of thick Greek yogurt (this really adds to the soup) and chopped chives.

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