2 cups yellow split peas, rinsed and soaked for at least one hour
2 bay leaves
Sea salt freshly ground pepper
2 to 4 tbsp light sesame oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
¼ cup minced coriander stems
1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch ground chilli
1 can of coconut milk
Juice of 1 large lime, or to taste
3 tbsp chopped coriander
½ cup rice
Large bunch of spinach, stems removed, well washed
1. Once you have soaked the peas, drain them and put them in a pot with 2 quarts water, the bay leaves, cloves and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered.
2. Heat oil in a medium frypan over medium heat then add the onion and coriander stems. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to colour and soften, about 10 minutes. Add the spices and ½ cup of water from the simmering peas and cook until the water has cooked away. Add the onion to the simmering peas and continue cooking until both a very soft, about an hour in all. Remove the bay leaves and cloves, then puree. Return the soup to the stove and stir in the coconut milk. Add the lime juice then taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped coriander.
3. To finish, bring 1 cup water to a boil then add ¼ tsp salt and the rice. Give it a stir, lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook until the rice has absorbed the water and is done, about 15 minutes. In a separate frypan, wilt the spinach in the water clinging to its leaves, then chop it coarsely. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, divide the spinach leaves among them, then add the cooked rice to each bowl.
Makes 10 cups
Adapted from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen