Morning Glory

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Maidstone, Kent, UK
This is lovely comforting dish. It takes some inspiration from French onion soup which classically uses beef stock and indeed, you could use a light beef stock instead of the miso & Marmite. I just wanted to keep it vegan. The tarka with nutty toasted mustard seeds and fragrant curry leaves adds a great contrast in texture and colour.

I served it with mustard bread (recipe to follow) but you could equally well serve it with naan. If you add less liquid it would be fine as a dhal side dish together with a curry. I’d be inclined to leave out the Marmite/miso if so, to play down the ‘beefy’ flavour.

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Ingredients (serves 2)
For the soup:
1 x onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp vegetable ghee (or use vegetable oil)
50g yellow split peas
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds, yellow mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, ground black cardamom
1 x Indian bay leaf
500 ml boiling water
2 tsp brown miso
1/2 tsp Marmite or Vegemite

For the Tarka:
1/2 tbsp oil or ghee
4-6 small dried red chillies
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 x large clove of garlic, very thinly sliced
6 fresh curry leaves

Method
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion slices. Gently fry until they turn golden brown (but not crispy).
  2. Transfer the onions to a large saucepan. Add the chana dal, bay leaf, spices and water and stir in the miso and Marmite.
  3. Simmer gently until the yellow split peas soften (approx. 45mins). Add more water if necessary.
  4. To make the tarka, heat a small amount of oil or ghee to a frying pan. Add the slivers of garlic and fry gently until they become golden. Remove and set aside. Add the mustard seeds, chilli and curry leaves. Fry until the seeds begin to pop then add the garlic back in.
  5. Serve the soup with the tarka on top as a garnish.

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