Monday, March 27, 2006

Hurry Curry

It's amazing what a difference sunshine and warmer temperatures can make!

Despite a full day at work, I arrived home bursting with energy and a desire to cook something from scratch for dinner. On a Monday? Amazing!

And while I had considered revisiting the roasted potato and onion based soup I made a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take my inspiration tonight from Vegetarian Times and opted to enjoy a little curry.

I had found a recipe for a curried spinach-potato soup in the January 2005 issue of VT, and since I had picked up some fresh spinach at the store this weekend and made fresh vegetable stock, I thought, why not? Add to that hearing about a wonderful curry stir-fry, and you can guess that I was ready for that curry flavor myself.

The recipe itself was simple: saute onions, add curry powder, toss in potatoes and stock, simmer until soft, add spinach, puree, add milk. Not much to it, really, and easily thrown together in half an hour.

But could I leave it at that? Oh, no.....

Instead, I added fresh garlic and ginger to the onions and more spices to the curry powder. And after a walk while the soup cooled, I sauteed some sliced carrots with spices, raisins, and almonds for a colorful and healthy side dish.

So simple, and yet so good.

Normally if I'm in the mood to cook, I don't mind taking my time and enjoying the entire process. Granted, for most people, even this quick a dish isn't made quickly enough. But I enjoyed having the near-instant gratification for once, along with really good wholesome homemade flavor.

And since I have leftovers, I might hurry home for more tonight!

Hurried Curried Spinach-Potato Soup

The January 2005 issue of Vegetarian Times had an article on "superfoods" that are loaded with nutrients that are especially good for you. And if you don't know that dark leafy greens like spinach are good for you, then I'd have to wonder what you're doing here! Make this as simple or as spicy as you like.

1 T canola oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
1/2" fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 T curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
2 c vegetable stock
2-3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
3-4 c packed fresh chopped spinach
1 c lowfat milk (or unsweetened soy milk)
juice of 1/2 lime

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Sautee onion, garlic, and ginger slowly until soft and lightly browned. Add curry powder, chili powder, cardamom, and salt, and fry for about 1 minute. Add stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Cool.

Puree soup in blender or in pan with immersion blender until smooth. Add milk and lime juice and bring back up to desired heat. Serve garnished with dollop of nonfat yogurt or chopped cilantro.

Makes 4 servings


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