Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Heart-Warming Indian Cauliflower Soup

It’s winter here in Montreal and the cold has settled in. Winter is a strange phenomenon. We just never seem to get used to it. Every year the same story repeats itself and yet, we’re always taken aback when the first real cold day comes around. And yesterday was no exception with minus 20˚C, and a felt temperature of much colder. That’s when we decide to take out our recipe books and start making some heart-warming food.

Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable. Although it’s not great tasting (and doesn’t smell good!) when it’s simply boiled, it can be so great when it’s well prepared and seasoned. Because it was so cold outside yesterday, I decided to warm my kitchen up. I cranked up some reggae music (try listening to an album called Universal Message with mixed artists, it’s just great!), took out my exotic stash of spices along with the big cauliflower I had in the fridge (it lay there as I didn’t know what to do with it). With some good ingredients on hand, I decided to make a nice tasty, healthy soup.

Makes 8 portions

1 tbsp Ghee
1 Cauliflower cut in rough pieces
2 Small potatoes, diced
3 tbsp Water
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp Fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Black mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tbsp Coriander seeds, slightly crushed
1 liter Vegetable broth
Salt & pepper
1/3 cup Plain yogurt

In a large pan, over medium heat, melt the ghee. Add the cauliflower pieces, the potatoes and the water. Bring to a boil. With the cover on, lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and the ginger, Turmeric, mustard seeds, cumin and coriander. Cook for 3 minutes while mixing. Incorporate the vegetable broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for another 20 minutes.
Take off the heat and let cool. Transfer to a blender and mix until you get a smooth purée. Put back in the pan and add the yogurt. Reheat over low heat if necessary and serve immediately.

Note: Ghee is clarified butter. Unless you want to prepare it yourself, you can buy it in specialized stores already prepared and it can be kept in the fridge for quite a long time for further use.

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