Part of my New Year's resolution was to entertain more. Well, here it is February and I finally entertained my first guests of the New Year yesterday. It took me a while, but I had so much fun that I'm going to be doing it more frequently. Getting over that first hurdle is always the hardest.
My skills were challenged yesterday as I was cooking not only for people I had never before cooked for, but for a vegetarian. It being Sunday, my plan was to make a soup that I could put in the crock pot before church. I knew that my Red Lentil and Carrot Soup with Coconut would impress, but as luck would have it, I could not find red lentils at any of my usual sources. What's a girl to do who's pressed for time and who is having her first guests of the New Year over? Improvise, of course!
I adapted the red lentil soup recipe to use something I could readily find, split peas, and the rest is soup history. This soup was flavorful, delicious, had a wonderful texture and was warming and filling. I'm sending this over to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her weekly Souper Sunday event. Enjoy!
Split Pea Soup with Carrots and Coconut by Joie de vivre
2 cups dried split peas
1 Tbls. vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. tumeric
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
8 cups vegetable stock
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
1/8 tsp. chili pepper
1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to brown.
2. Add the minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the tumeric and cumin seeds and cook, stirring, for an additional 30 seconds.
3. Add the vegetable stock and the salt and pepper. Stir in the split peas.
4. Transfer the entire mixture to the insert of a large (6 qt) crock pot. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 - 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 - 5 hours.
5. Stir in the coconut milk and chili pepper and cook on HIGH for an additional 20 - 30 minutes before serving.