10 February 2009

Staying resolute

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.


Cathy said...

My husband loves split pea soup - I'll have to try this soon for him - again, mushy vegetable taste, I'm out ;)

Finla said...

Wow the soup looks so creamy delicious.
Love the colour.
I love people comming over for dinner in my place.

Meg said...

I love this because it uses coconut milk!! I will definitely have to try it!

Thanks for the comment on my snickerdoodles. I will get the vegan recipe up later today.

Tangled Noodle said...

I hope I develop that kind of cooking creativity and resourcefulness! This looks marvelous.

Anonymous said...

The split pea soup sounds really yummy with coconut milk!

Lyd Stew said...

I love split peas! Good choice- glad you made them work- looks lovely and way-to-stick to your goals!

Anonymous said...

Have never tried coconut milk in any soup, but seems tasty and healthy. I love the photo.

Sheila said...

This sounds very Indian inspired. I really like coconut milk and split pea soup, here you have both of those. I will have to try this! Good improvisation:)

The Duo Dishes said...

Great substitute in a pinch! Please do the red lentils so we can check that one out as well.

Sam said...

Split pea soup is delicious, adding coconut milk is a great idea.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I like the idea of the coconut milk in this. I can't find red lentils in the mountains either.

Reeni said...

You did a good job of improvising!! Looks yummy!!

Chef E said...

This sounds like a yummy combination, and what time do you want me to show up for the next event??? I am easy to please...I like the fact that this reminds me of myself on the improvising... :)

jesse said...

Congratulations on your first dinner party! That split pea soup looks amazing!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I like making vegetarian meals. What a great soup.

Karen said...

Looks good! I keep a journal for entertaining. I include the date, guests names, occasion, menu, and notes. It's nice to have to look back on for memories and so I don't make the same thing for the same guests! Since you'll be doing more entertaining this year, maybe you could use the idea :)

Selba said...

an interesting soup... never tried it before.

test it comm said...

This soup sounds good. I like the use of the coconut milk in it.

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

Your soup looks so rich and creamy! What a wonderful meal for guests.

Sara said...

Looks good to me - I love entertaining, but I don't do it nearly enough. My problem is I get a little overzealous in my cooking plans and then wear myself out so I'm less inclined to do it again soon :)

Robin said...

We want to entertain more too. It is hard to do as once the weekend comes we are tired and want to be together and rest. So we really have to plan for it to work. Wow it is hard to cook for people who have special dietary choices and that would make me nervous that I would somehow forget and use chicken broth instead of veggie broth. I like your table cloth!

pigpigscorner said...

This sounds great! And the coconut milk...yummy!

Stash said...

Never thought of mixing coconut in this one, but the more I think about it the more I like it.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I thought it sounded great with the lentils but with peas--double yum!

Thanks for coming to Souper Sundays. The round up is posted.



Dr. H. said...

I tried this recipe the other day! I was so excited about it. I was out of cumin and chili, but added more tumeric. On a whim, I added curry as well. It was really lovely with the coconut milk. As a plus, my husband liked it a lot--and I'm not so sure he's loved pea soup in the past. Thanks so much--love it.