My mom is very cute. She recently ordered my brother a few pairs of new jeans from Banana and told me she also wanted to get me a present to keep things “even.” My brother is currently following his dream of becoming a music producer and is devoting all his extra time and money to building a sound studio in his apartment. So as you can imagine, buying non-ratty jeans isn’t high on his list of priorities. I have a feeling he didn’t request the jeans, but my mom probably saw what he was wearing and couldn’t resist pulling the trigger on some nicer duds!
Anyway, the concept sort of made me giggle since my brother and I are both adults and haven’t cared about keeping things “even” for a long time. I told her I didn’t need anything, but when she wouldn’t let the matter go, I finally emailed her my current cookbook wishlist. I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to organizational matters and always have a current list of books I want to request from the library on my laptop, along with a list of the cooking/photography gadgets I want to buy next and restaurants that I want to visit among other things. You don’t even want to see the list I keep with recipe ideas! So I sent her the list and look what just came in the mail – yay, thanks Mom!
I curled up with a beer on the couch last Friday night and took my time browsing through them all. I’m most excited about the 660 Curries book (thanks for the recommendation Natashya!) since one of my foodie goals is to learn how to make saag paneer. I can’t find an Indian place that I really love by us, so it’s a necessity! All the recipes looked SO good but I didn’t have all the authentic ingredients needed for them, so to satisfy my Indian craving, I made this soup with what I had on hand. It was inspired by the recipe in the book for Restaurant-Style Cauliflower and Potatoes.
I wanted to keep things on the lighter side, so I roasted cauliflower and used it and a few potatoes to thicken the soup. I used a plethora of spices too and added in some peas at the end. It was very tasty and perfect to enjoy in this rainy weather we’ve been having in Boston lately. I’m already excited to head to the Indian market with my good friend Geeti next weekend. She’s going to show me around, and of course I already have a list ready to go of various spices to stock up on. I especially can’t wait to get my hands on some paneer!
Indian Spiced Cauliflower, Potato, and Pea Soup
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (8 cups, 28 ounces)
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 cups frozen peas
2 teaspoons salt
Heat oven to 400˚F. Drizzle one tablespoon canola oil over cauliflower florets on a large greased cookie sheet and roast at 400˚F for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender, stirring once halfway through baking.
Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon canola oil over medium high heat in a large stockpot and sauté onion for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; add garlic, coriander, cumin, ginger, garam masala, cayenne pepper, and turmeric and sauté 1 additional minute while stirring. Add chicken stock, water, potatoes, and tomato paste and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Add cauliflower to the soup and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add milk, vinegar, peas, and salt to the pureed soup and stir until smooth. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition: 284 calories, 6.6g fat, 10.7g fiber, 12.4g protein per serving
Cost: $1.75 per serving