It’s the end of summer and while I look forward to the warming harvest flavors, I’m not quite done with the freshness of summer. Here’s a recipe that combines both beautifully.
It’s from a brand new cookbook by Bindu Grandhi called Spice Up Your Life: The Flexitarian Way.
The what-a-who-ian way? Flexitarian. Don’t worry; it’s good for you! I’d never heard the term before this book either.
Flexitarian is a nice way to say “vegetarians who cheat.” My friend, Karen, knows exactly what I mean. She’s “a vegetarian who occasionally eats boneless, skinless, vein-less, connective tissue-less chicken.” It’s not picky; it’s selective.
Vegetarian diets are tremendously healthy. Fish, chicken and other non-vegetarian choices can also be very healthy. Flexitarians are … well, flexible. They make healthy food choices, even if those exist outside vegetarian realms.
I was actually a flexitarian (I just didn’t know there was a term for it) before I met my husband and he introduced me to the glorious world of red meats.
Bindu’s cookbook combines a healthy flexitarian diet with traditional Indian flavors.
This soup is light, refreshing, invigorating. I gotta be honest: Rick and the kids weren’t particularly taken by it. They’re not fans of spice. But I loved it! Serve it with a nice, hearty bread and a cheese tray; you’ve got yourself a great meal.
Green Pea Soup
by Bindu Grandhi
- 1 1/2 cup sweet peas or 10 oz frozen peas
- 2T extra light olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 t cumin seeds
- 4 mint leaves
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk or low fat milk
- salt to taste
- 1/2 t red chili powder
- 1/2 t ground black pepper
- 3/4 t brown sugar
- 1 T cilantro
- bread croutons (optional)
Place peas in a saucepan with just enough water to cover; cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, drain and set peas aside. Reserve 2 T cooked peas for garnish.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, tomato, potato, and cumin seeds. Saute for 5-7 minutes or until the onions are tender. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the contents from the saucepan into a food processor or blender fitted with a steel blade. Add mint leaves, milk and cooked peas; puree.
Pour the mixture back into the large saucepan. Add salt, chili powder, black pepper and brown sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot. Garnish with chopped cilantro, reserved peas and croutons.
Tanya’s Notes: I omitted the potato and used Skim Plus instead of whole or 2% milk. Also, I hate doing dishes, so I always use as few as possible while cooking. With this recipe, I kept everything in one saucepan and used my immersion blender instead of a food processor. This means I only had to wash one pot, one colander and a blender attachment — rather than two saucepans, a strainer, a bowl, a blender, etc. (Actually, I think Rick washed the dishes, but you get the point. ) Finally, the author recommends serving it hot, but I liked it at room temperature as well. Either way, it tastes great!