(Featured in Fine Cooking’s Spicing up Soup Week)
The devil of the winter is back and has a big table of a variety of wintry mix for us. Snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, howling winds – you name it, and we have it!
I would take piles of snow any day to the slippery frozen roads. The warmth of the weekend was a just a tease. North east regions of Texas do experience some ice and snow, but is not at all equipped to deal with conditions like these. The streets look like a glistening frozen lake. All the homes look nice, cozy and happy with shimmering lights through the window panes; no one could step out of their homes. And we have had 4 consecutive snow days, which is certainly a very welcome thing. Having the entire family together at home on weekdays is a surprise gift!
Now this kind of weather only calls for a hot, smoky and spicy soup; filling, satisfying and nourishing at the same time.
Curried Navy Bean Soup
- 1 cup dried navy beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- a sprinkle of roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, or as much as you desire
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 2 carrots, sliced/diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- salt and pepper
- 1.5 teaspoons coriander powder
- stock or water
- fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish
- fresh lime or lemon
Note: use any kind of chopped vegetables
Soak the beans overnight if possible.
Heat oil in a pan or a pressure cooker pan. Add the cumin seeds and red crushed pepper. When the seeds start to sizzle add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook them at medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, (and/or any other vegetable you might be using) coriander powder and the tomato paste and 4 tablespoons water. Add salt, pepper, oregano, smoked paprika and the roasted cumin powder. Toss for everything to combine and cook at low to medium heat for another 3-4 minutes.
Add the soaked beans and stir them in with the mix in the pot. Add about 3 times the water (or as much as you would need to cook the beans and have desired consistency of soup). Cook till the beans are tender. I use a pressure cooker, which is the easiest way to cook beans and is usually done in minutes.
Garnish with fresh herbs and crushed pepper/black pepper and finish off with a squeeze of lemon/lime juice.
Serve warm with crusty bread.
Dal Palak/Lentils with Spinach