Recipe: Golden broth
The springboard for this soup is one of Yamuna Devi's recipes from her tome Lord Krishna's Cuisine, a book that offers many complex dishes to tempt the adventurous cook. Though this soup is surprisingly delectable even when made with water, the simple stock adds so much flavor that it's worth making. It requires forty minutes of unattended simmering for maximum flavor and can be made ahead of time, but the soup itself, which takes only fifteen minutes, should be made just before serving so that it will be vibrant and fresh. Serve over basmati rice if you wish and include a spoonful of yogurt. And do peel the pepper—it will taste so much better.
- 2 celery ribs, including some leaves, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 scallions
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 cloves
- 1⁄ 2 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1 cup diced fresh or canned tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Trimmings: a few sprigs of carrot tops; the top, ribs, and seeds of the bell pepper; a few pea pods; several tablespoons cilantro, dill, and parsley stems
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded
- Sea salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 carrot, cut into julienne strips
- 1⁄ 2 large yellow or orange bell pepper, peeled and finely slivered
- 1⁄ 2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1⁄ 2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
- Handful of edible-pod or snow peas, finely slivered on the diagonal
- 1 heaping tablespoon each finely chopped mint, parsley, and cilantro
- Juice of 1⁄ 2 large lime (about 1 tablespoon), or to taste
- 1⁄ 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely diced jalapeño chile
- 1⁄ 2 cup cooked basmati rice, optional
- Yogurt or sour cream
1 Put the stock ingredients in a pot, add 6 cups water, and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes, then strain. You should have about 1 quart.
2 While the stock is simmering, cut the cucumber halves into thirds, put the pieces in a bowl with 1 teaspoon salt and water to cover for 20 minutes, then drain and slice thinly crosswise.
3 Melt the butter in a small soup pot. When hot, add the cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, turmeric, garam masala, paprika, and 1 teaspoon salt. Give a stir, cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then add the stock. Bring to a lively boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the peas and cook for just 1 minute more, by which time the cucumbers should be tender and translucent.
4 Add the herbs, lime juice, sugar, and chile. Divide among 4 shallow bowls, add rice to each if you wish, and top with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.
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Excerpted from Vegetable Soups From Deborah Madison's Kitchen by Deborah Madison. Copyright 2006 by Broadway. Excerpted with permission by Broadway. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.