Add a fun pop of color to the table. This is a hearty, chilled soup that can be made a day ahead, and makes a nice party offering with its decorative spiral topping.

If you have a vegan in the crowd, leave off the yogurt topping in the recipe, the rest is all vegetable and spice. Serve this soup in teacups for extra appeal. I included this recipe as part of my modern Indian food party plan, which included small bites with Indian flavors.

MAKES ABOUT 1.25 QUARTS

COOK THE SPLIT PEAS

1 1/2 CUPS yellow split peas, checked for grit, rinsed
5 1/2 CUPS water
1/2 tsp turmeric

Place ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil. Lower heat, simmer for 2 hrs covered.

GET OUT THE FOOD PROCESSOR… MAKE THE SOUP

cooked split peas, slightly cooled
juice from 2 lemons
2 jalapeños, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne

Blend ingredients together, until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.

TO SERVE

plain yogurt
oregano sprigs

Pour chilled soup into small bowls. Garnish with a spiral of yogurt, and oregano sprig.

See more recipes for creating cool, mod, Indian-inspired bites in 08 India Calling