Meals and Courses

  • 250 g (8 oz) yellow split peas, soaked overnight in cold water
  • 300 g (10 oz) parsnips, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 litres (2½ pints) chicken or vegetable stock (see pages 10 and 13)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, roughly crushed
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 75 g (3 oz) butter
  • small bunch of coriander

Drain the soaked split peas and put them into a saucepan with the parsnips, onion and stock. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the split peas are soft.

Meanwhile, make the butter by dry-frying the cumin and coriander seeds and garlic in a small saucepan until lightly toasted. Mix into the butter with the coriander leaves and a little salt and pepper. Shape into a sausage shape on clingfilm or foil, wrap up and chill until needed.

Roughly mash the soup or purée in batches in a liquidizer or food processor, if preferred. Reheat and stir in half the coriander butter until melted. Add a little extra stock if needed then season to taste. Ladle into bowls and top each bowl with a slice of the coriander butter. Serve with toasted pitta breads.

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