March 8, 2009

curried broccoli soup with spiced cashews

I have to admit that I'm not much one for checking the weather. I like to know what's going on, but normally I only get to watch short bits of the Today show when I'm getting dressed or eating breakfast. As often as not, I gauge what I should wear based on what the folks outside in the plaza are wearing, since my office is right next door.

It was merely a coincidence, then, that I made this warm and toasty soup just in time for the east coast's big winter storm. A few weeks ago I got a few new organic spice mixes at Whole Foods. The curry powder sat on the shelf for a while before I decided to use it on my kale.
The first bite was delicious, and stirred a little memory down deep inside. After a few bites the half formed feelings of comfort and warmth start to resolve themselves. Something sweet was missing. Something smooth and creamy.

A vision flashed in my memory, a grey rimmed, well used, sturdy off-white plate with a generous serving of bright yellow, raisin studded curried rice. A special treat that Mom fixed in frequently. So good it made broccoli palatable, in my youthful opinion. I always ate my vegetables first, and saved the best for last.

The image of Mom's curried rice, nestle along side spears of broccoli bumped around in my head enticingly until I saw Liz's broccoli soup. A little spice, a little sweet, and a little crunch makes for a great serving of vegetables. And even though I had no idea the storm was coming until the boss called Sunday evening to close the office for Monday I was sure glad I had something warm and toasty.

Curried Broccoli Soup
*I apologize for the lack of pictures, we are experiencing technical difficulties with the camera
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 bunches of broccoli, florets and stems chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 cups broth or stock
2 tablespoons curry powder
3/4 cup
golden raisins

Spiced Cashews

1 cup cashews, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp garam masala

Pour olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan and add onions and garlic. Turn heat on low and slowly saute until onions are translucent. Add broccoli and increase heat to medium, stirring occasionally until broccoli is bright green and tender. Transfer about one quarter of the broccoli mix to a blender or food processor and add 1/2 cup stock and puree until smooth. Transfer to a sauce pan and blend the remaining broccoli and stock in batches. Place soup back over low heat, add the raisins, curry powder and salt to taste. Simmer for about five minutes, adding more broth if you want a thinner soup.

While soup is simmering heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet. When oil is hot add salt, turmeric and garam masala, stirring to make a paste. Stir in the cashew pieces and make sure that they are completely coated. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes, until cashew just start to brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool for several minuntes.

Serve soup garnished with spiced cashews.


Kelly said...

Oh my gosh, my mouth is watering!!!

Anonymous said...

The curried broccoli soup sounds really good! I love using different spices. I have done some research on curry powder, and found that it is a blend of spices sometimes with chili peppers. I need to find one that doesn't have chili peppers since I am allergic, but I have not invested very much time in finding one. I also found some recipes to make your own curry powder, which sounds more like it!

Vittoria said...

Now that I'm thinking about it, it would probably be great with a little coconut milk. I don't keep it around, but I'll have to try that next time.

I get Frontier Spices which have no added anti-caking agents (for me) and their curry blend does not include chilis. I'd love to make my own, but I just don't want to get all the ingredients for 1 spice blend that I'm not sure I'll use a whole bunch. That, and storage space.