A healthy winter soup from Toronto's Ace Bakery. "If you think Indian cuisine means spicy, you'll be surprised at the fragrant, subtle flavourings of this soup. The turmeric gives a lovely saffron hue, and the spinach leaves turn a glossy green for a fresh colour boost."
3 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
6 green cardamom seeds*
2 tsp ground coriander (the flavour will be fresher if you grind your own)
1 tsp ground turmeric
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 cup finely chopped cooking onion
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 head cauliflower, washed, drained and coarsely chopped
2 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes, cut in 1/4" dice, approximately 2 cups
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
6-8 cups light chicken stock
2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground white pepper
1 very large handful baby spinach, washed
Yogurt to garnish
* Try to buy your spices for this soup at an Indian grocery. You'll be able to buy smaller amounts and they will be fresher. Green and white cardamom seed come from the same plant, a member of the ginger family. Cardamom seed is naturally green, but is more often found in its bleached white form.
Step 1: Heat the oil in a pot large enough to accommodate all the ingredients. Add the cardamom seeds and sauté about 1 minute until they give up their oils. Skim the seeds out of the oil and discard them. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the coriander, turmeric and cayenne. Sauté for about 20 seconds until you can smell the aroma of the spices.
Step 2: Add the onion and garlic. Sauté about 5 minutes, or until the onion is wilted. Lower the heat if the onion starts to brown. Add the cauliflower, potatoes and mustard. Toss until the spices coat the vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are slightly roasted.
Step 3: Pour in 6 cups of the stock and simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Step 4: If you have time, cool the mixture. Purée it in a food processor or blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the purée is too thick, add an extra 1-2 cups of stock.
Step 5: Reheat and taste for seasonings. Stir in the spinach just before serving. The spinach will turn bright green and have a slight crunch. Pour into bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt.
Note: This soup can be made ahead to the point just before you add the spinach. It will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days or in the freezer for 2 months. The spinach, once added to the soup, will keep its colour for 2 days, but it will lose its crispness.
See more recipes from Linda Haynes.
Reprinted with permission from Linda Haynes' The Ace Bakery Cookbook (2003 Whitecap Books).