Curried yellow split pea soup with naan

By Wendy Andresen | Mar 18, 2021
Photo by: Wendy Andresen

If you can chop vegetables, you can make this easy, hearty soup. The Indian spices make it interesting, exotic and slightly spicy, but if you prefer plain fare (rare in this column) you can omit them and still have a classic, tasty soup.

Be sure to allow plenty of time for the peas to cook thoroughly, as cooking times can vary depending on how long they’ve been stored.

If you’ve never made naan before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is, and it’s such fun to watch them puff up as they cook. They’re an easy bread for beginning bakers and the perfect accompaniment to this soup.

Ingredients for soup:

1 Tbsp. neutral oil

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced carrot

1 cup diced celery

1 small jalapeno, minced (optional)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

1 Tbsp. yellow curry powder

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. garam masala

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. lime juice

5 cups vegetable broth

1 pound (2 cups) yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed

1 cup plain unsweetened nondairy milk

Garnishes: chopped cilantro, chutney, nondairy sour cream (such as Forager’s) or yogurt

Directions for soup:

1. In a soup pot, heat the oil and then add the onion, carrot, celery, jalapeno and garlic. Salt lightly. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until somewhat tender.

2. Add the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, garam masala and brown sugar. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to temper the spices.

3. Add the lime juice, vegetable broth and split peas. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for at least an hour, until the peas are tender. Add the nondairy milk and blend the soup with an immersion blender, leaving it somewhat chunky. Taste and add more salt if needed.

4. Top each serving with suggested garnishes.

Naan ingredients:

1/2 cup warm water

1 tsp. organic sugar

1 package instant yeast or highly active yeast

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 cup plain nondairy yogurt or milk

2 to 2 1/2 cups flour

Neutral oil for frying

Directions for naan:

1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and water and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until foamy.

2. Whisk in the olive oil, yogurt, salt and 2 cups of flour. Stir with a silicone spatula until smooth.

3. Add more flour as needed to make a soft dough that does not stick to your hands. Knead it for a few minutes on a floured work surface until smooth and elastic.

4. Spray a bowl with nonstick spray. Put the dough in it and turn it over once. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place it somewhere warm until the dough has doubled in size. You can use a barely warmed oven for this.

5. Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece on a floured surface into a 6-inch circle.

6. Preheat a nonstick frying pan on medium heat and add a tiny bit of oil. Pan fry each naan for about 2 minutes on each side until bubbly and golden. Add a tiny bit more oil before frying each one. Turn down the heat if they’re starting to burn.

7. Stack the naan one on top of another and cover them with a towel to keep them warm in the oven until dinnertime.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at

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Comments (1)
Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Mar 18, 2021 12:57

Sounds incredible

will have to make this. Thank you Wendy.

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