This Comorian spiced green pea soup (soupe faux pois) has a wonderful zing provided by ginger and cayenne and freshness from the mint, which makes it an ideally refreshing lunch all year round. It uses a coconut milk base, making it naturally vegan and gluten-free.
Country Number 38: Comoros
Another day another African country we don’t know much about. This challenge has certainly been damnatory of our poor African geography, that’s for sure. The Comoros archipelago is found in the Indian Ocean between the east coast of Africa and Madagascar. The Comoro Islands are sometimes referred to as the ‘perfumed islands’ due to their fragrant foliage and stunning beauty. Due to their location, they were once a key trading hub between East Africa and Asia. As such, the culture of Comoros is influenced by various others, including African, Arabic, French and Malagasy.
The islands were explored by early Persian settlers, who introduced Sunni Islam to the island, which has remained the country’s predominant religion. The Persian settlers set up trading relations with various Asian and Middle Eastern nations, and for a while Comoros was a major exporter of spices and slaves. With the opening of the Suez canal, Comoros’ importance as a trading port was significantly diminished, and eventually the French occupied it in the 19th century. Three of its four islands claimed independence from France in 1975. The country today is impoverished, which is in part due to a brain drain to France, and a reduction in domestic exports. It also suffers from political instability, which has damaged its chances of becoming a tourism hot spot.
History of Comorian Cuisine
Comorian cuisine is a fusion of Persian, French and African flavours. As a lush island, its cuisine has a wealth fresh fruit and veges, and seafood is served in almost every meal. As a spice exporter, Comorian cuisine is very flavourful, utilising the vast array of spices at its disposal. Rice is a staple of the diet, and is served alongside many dishes.
Popular Comorian Vegetarian Dishes
- Soup Faux Pois – a lightly spiced sweet pea and coconut milk soup.
- Mkatra Foutra – a fried unleavened bread made with coconut milk and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
- Achard aux legumes – pickled salad of beans, cabbage, carrots and spices.
- Ladu – balls of spiced and sweetened ground rice.
- Poutou – chilli hot sauce with tomatoes, onions and lemon.
Vegetarian rating of Comorian Cuisine:
Making Spiced Green Pea Soup (Soupe Faux Pois)
The prep for this dish is pretty quick and it only requires 25 minutes of simmer time to cook, so it’s an ideal lunch to make if you don’t want to go to a lot of effort. You simply sauté up the vegetables, add the rest of the ingredients (minus the coconut milk), simmer for 25 minutes, blend everything up, mix in the coconut milk, reheat, and serve!
How to make Spiced Green Pea Soup (Soupe Faux Pois)
It doesn’t take expertise in the kitchen to whip up this simple yet tasty soup! Just cook up the ingredients, blend everything together and you’re ready to go.
- Defrost peas. In a large pot on a medium heat, sauté onion for 5 minutes until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Add the remaining ingredients (minus the coconut milk), bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Leave simmering for 25 minutes.
- Blend in blender until smooth (make sure to either use a heat-proof blender or wait for it to cool a little), then return to pot, stir in coconut milk, and heat until desired serving temperature.
- Serve with a drizzle more coconut milk and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Ingredient notes for Spiced Mint Pea Soup (Soupe Faux Pois)
- Peas – we used minted frozen peas for extra freshness in flavour.
- Cayenne pepper – adjust for spice tolerance.
- Ginger – fresh is best for flavour, but substitute with ground if needs be.
Serving suggestions for Soupe Faux Pois
Serve with fresh, lightly toasted bread, or if you want the full Comoros experience, fry up some Mkatra Foutra (sesame flatbread) to have alongside.
Recipes to serve alongside soup
Spiced Green Pea Soup (Soupe Faux Pois)- Comoros
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 cups frozen peas (thawed)
- 3 tsp ginger (minced)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- 4 cups water
- 3 tbsp mint (chopped)
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1 lime (juiced)
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic sauté for 5 minutes, until translucent.
- Add peas, ginger, cayenne pepper, cumin, onion powder, salt and pepper and cover with 4 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 25 minutes.
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