Madhur Jaffrey’s Cookbook Food for Family and Friends sees a different side of this heavily relied upon author-cook. It constructs menus which are for a Western dinner table, but of course with a strong South Asian and Asian accent.
I first had something like this in Geneva, where, as is often the case hereabouts, restaurants/cafes have a very heavy hand with soups. Stodgy in winter, so thick in summer one could turn the plate upside down and it would sit there unmoved. I like soups to be much lighter, at least some of the time, and surely in summer. About a drinking-out-of-cup-thinness. Certainly not the ‘eat this soup with a fork approach’ so often seen in Geneva.
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds, tied in cheesecloth or inside a tea-ball
- a knob of peeled fresh ginger chopped – 1/2 an inch or so
- 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetarian equivalent)
- fresh green (for colour consistency) chilli to taste
- 1 1/2 cups (200g) shelled peas, fresh or frozen
- 30g/1 lightly packed cup fresh green coriander
- 12 good sized fresh mint leaves
- 150 ml plain yoghurt blended until smooth with 4 tablespoons of water
- salt to taste
Put the potato, onion, cumin, ginger, stock and chilli in a large pot, bring to the boil. Cover and lower to a simmer for 30 minutes. Take out the cumin and add the peas. Bring to the boil, and then to a simmer for 2 minutes. Add the coriander and mint. Turn off the heat.
Blend/puree the soup until smooth. Pour the soup into a clean bowl, and after it is cool add the yoghurt and mix. Season with the salt. Cover and chill in the fridge. Serve cold.
In retrospect, I wonder if the coriander should perhaps be added, and the soup pureed, after it has cooled somewhat. Simon Hopkinson is totally against the idea of cooking fresh coriander and I can see why. Ditto with basil.
This is lovely and unaccountably I have failed to make it this summer.