This vegan soup from Desmond Tan’s Burma Superstar in San Francisco features a broth that’s seasoned with black mustard seeds, cumin, and turmeric. Fresh cabbage, herbs, and chiles top each ample bowl, contrasting tender lentils and potatoes with a pleasing crunch. It’s substantial enough to be a meal by itself, but try it topped with wedges of leftover samosas (or samusas, as they’re called in Burma) and falafel, as they do at the restaurant. Provisioning for this vegan soup is worth the extra effort: Tamarind paste adds tanginess (though you can use lime juice in a pinch); chickpea flour adds creamy texture and thickens the broth; and a high-quality vegetable stock like Zoup! provides rich flavor. You’ll find all three at amazon.com.
To make tamarind water, combine 3/4 cup boiling water and 1 heaping tablespoon tamarind pulp. Let steep 1 minute. Mash with a fork, and let steep 3 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids.