Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saag Aloo Soup (Curried Potato and Spinach Soup) Recipe

June has been strange thus far- highs in the high 90s and lows in the low 50s, sometimes within the same day. For me, the chill in my bones on a gray day can only be cured by a good soup. So, yesterday, to ease my chilled bones and summer spirit, I threw together a nice curried potato and spinach soup.

Ingredients (Vegetarian or Vegan):

4 golden potatoes
1 large leek 
2 tablespoons of butter or margarine
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup milk or almond milk
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 teaspoon hot curry powder
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 dash garam masala, a nice addition, but not necessary
salt and pepper to taste

Cube the potatoes leaving the skin. Boil until soft and drain well. While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the leek by removing the fanned stalk and the roots- use only the white and light green part of the stalk. Cut the leek in half, lengthwise. Wash thoroughly- leeks tend to get dirt in between their layers so make sure to clean them well- grit, although interesting in texture, does not necessarily belong in a "warm your bones" kind of soup. Once clean, thinly slice the leek halves.

In an evenly heated stock pot, toss in your butter/margarine allowing it to melt then throw in your leek and cooked potatoes. Saute' until the leek is translucent, but keep any eye on it and mix every so often- you don't want the leek to burn or attach to the bottom of your pot.

Before adding the stock, mix in the curry powders and garam masala. Once the spices are well distributed, add 2 cups of vegetable stock and 2 cups of water. Let simmer for approximately 30 minutes- periodically stirring the pot.

While the soup is simmering. chop the spinach. I grab a handful and slice it into ribbons, then make a mound of what I just cut and chop it one more time for good measure. Set the spinach aside.

After the 30 minutes or so is up, using a hand blender, puree the potato/leek mixture in the stock pot until smooth. Once smooth, mix in the 1/2 cup of milk and fold in the chopped spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes or so.

The soup can be served alone or with rice or naan.