Curried Yellow Split Pea and Carrot Soup with Mint Yogurt

My favorite part of this perfectly light yet satisfying lunch was the mint yogurt. I know, I know. Some of you might be tiring of my incessant "minting", thinking to yourselves "there she goes again with the mint." Well, here's the thing. Mint and I are very close. However, I recognize that my affinity for this refreshingly bright and versatile little herb is not shared by all (or even most for that matter), so I promise to limit the frequency of mint-related recipes, insofar as I am able. And, in the case of this very tasty soup, you can omit the mint altogether if you'd prefer and go with another herb of your choice, or simply do plain yogurt, or even abort the yogurt portion completely. I won't be offended and would love to hear about any modifications or substitutions you make to any of the recipes you see here. May your visits here serve as a source of inspiration. Maybe inspiration to use mint more? Just kidding.

For the soup:
                    1 cup yellow split peas
                    1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
                    1 medium onion, chopped
                    2 garlic cloves, chopped
                    1 teaspoon curry powder
                    1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
                    2 carrots, peeled
                    1 teaspoon kosher salt
                    salt and pepper

For the topping:
                    1/2 cup plain yogurt
                    3 tablespoons chopped mint 

Cover the peas with enough hot water to cover by 1 inch in a large bowl. Let stand for 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, curry, and turmeric and stir for 1 minute. Drain the peas and add them to the saucepan with 4 cups of water, the carrots, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the peas are very tender, about an hour.

Puree the soup in a blender (in batches if necessary) until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir the yogurt and mint together in a small bowl. Serve the soup with a spoonful of yogurt over the top.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from Jeanne Kelley, Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes.    

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