Weekday Vegetarian: Mushroom and Potato Curry Soup
Photo Credit: Emma Alter
I'm sitting up north and despite the weather report telling me it's a balmy temperature, we're all huddled around with our polar fleece on. No quite the salad weather I've been craving, more like the soup weather I thought I had left behind. Instead of washing up some baby lettuce, I headed to some cookbooks to see what interesting soup I could make with the limited contents of my refrigerator.This Indian soup is simple to make, but if you have to cook the potatoes first, it can take a bit of time. I actually had some mashed potatoes left over from our dinner the night before, so I used them. It resulted in a less textured soup than you would get if you boiled the potatoes and then broke them up, but it was fine. It was worth it to get the hot soup into us sooner. This calls for one tablespoon of cayenne pepper, which would please my heat loving son, but I think is probably more than most people would be comfortable with. If you love hot and spicy food, go ahead, otherwise you might want to cut the amount down a little. I mixed the hot soup into the buttermilk, but it still curdled a little bit, but it didn't affect the taste.
This recipe is from Vij's At Home: Relax, Honey by Meeeru Dhalvala and Vikram Vij.
Mushroom and Potato Curry Soup
1 1.2 lbs potatoes, unpeeled
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
3 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp salt
2 1/2 tbs ground coriander
1 tbsp crushed cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
5 cups water
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
6 oz mushrooms, chopped
1. Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil on high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium and boil for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are soft but not mushy when pierced with a knife. Drain potatoes and set aside to cool.
2. Once potatoes are cool, use your fingers or a sharp knife to peel off and discard the skins. Roughly mash the potatoes, using your fists or a potato masher. Be sure to leave the potatoes a bit chunky, as you want some texture in the soup.
3. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil on medium high for 45 seconds. Add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for 30 seconds. Add garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden. Stir in ginger and saute for 30 seconds, then add salt, coriander, cayenne and turmeric, and saute for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the 5 cups of water and stir thoroughly. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low.
4. Pour buttermilk into a large bowl. To prevent the buttermilk from separating in the soup, use a ladle to spoon about 1 1/2 cups of the hot potato curry into the buttermilk. Whisk the mixture until it is well combined. Carefully spoon all of the buttermilk into the pot of curry. Using the whisk, mix well and, stirring continuously, bring to a boil on low heat. Add mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes, or until slightly wilted.