Split pea soup is a classic Canadian comfort food. If you are Canadian, you probably remember growing up eating cans of Habitant pea soup, or maybe you still do. Simple with little else but split peas, salt, onion and maybe a few diced carrots or celery, my husband still adores split pea soups. But I can’t bring myself to make something quite so basic — but I don’t mind turning something basic into something extraordinary.
So this split pea soup is “Indian-ized” with Indian seasonings, but it’s extra special because I also put in some plump, colorful and hearty spiced cornmeal dumplings in the soup too. This is pretty much a complete comfort meal in a bowl, and is one of the finest soups I have made in a while. The broth itself was a treat. And did I mention the dumplings? After this, you won’t settle for canned split pea soup again!
I don’t consider that the photos are up to par, but it’s been dark here pretty much for the last few months. I trust that fellow cooks will judge the recipe without fancy photos.
Indian-Style Split Pea Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings
Recipe by Lisa Turner Cuisine: Indian Published on February 19, 2016
Split peas and vegetables simmered in a delicious, fragrant and warming Indian-seasoned broth, served with beautiful plump spiced cornmeal dumplings
Rinse the split peas and soak for 4 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrot and celery, and sauté until the the vegetables are softened — about 5 to 7 minutes. Now add the garlic, jalapeño and ginger, and stir for another few minutes. Add the turmeric, coriander, thyme sprigs and curry leaves, and stir for another minute. Pour in the split peas and water or stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the peas are tender.
While the soup is simmering, prepare the dumplings. Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder salt, turmeric, cumin and almond milk in a large bowl. Stir to combine until you have a soft and pliable dough, adding more flour if the dough is too moist or more almond milk if the dough is too dry. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough stand for 15 minutes. Form into small 1-inch oblong shapes or rounds. Cover again until ready to add to the soup.
When the peas are tender, drop the dumplings into the soup and simmer until they float — about 15 minutes.
To prepare the tempering, heat the oil in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir until the mustard seeds begin to splutter and pop. Quickly add to the soup, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve hot with a grain of your choice or some nice crusty bread.