Aloo gobi-inspired soup

I love aloo gobi (an Indian potato-and-cauliflower dish) but always find it a bit fiddly to make. Cooking all the vegetables separately: fry, remove, repeat. I’m more of a one-pot-wonder kinda girl. What if, I thought, I could translate that tasty Indian concoction into a bowl of soup? Well, I think this comes pretty damn close. The methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and nigella seeds are really important for an authentic flavour. I found both at an Asian supermarket.

Soup

Serves 4
  • 2 tsp x coriander seeds
  • 2 TBSP x coconut oil
  • 1 x onion, sliced
  • 4 x garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 TBSP x grated ginger
  • 1 tsp x cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp x nigella seeds
  • 400 g x potatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ x cauliflower (the other half is for the ‘crouton’ recipe below), chopped up a bit larger than the potatoes
  • 1 400-g jar x chopped tomatoes
  • Dried chillies, crushed, or chilli powder to taste (start with ½ tsp if you’re not sure; you can add more later if you like)
  • 1 tsp x turmeric powder
  • 750 ml x vegetable stock (make sure it's gluten-free if need be)
  • 1 TBSP x methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 2 tsp x garam masala
  • 2 x limes
  • Coriander leaves to garnish
  • Salt, to season

Cauliflower ‘croutons’

  • ½ x cauliflower
  • 1 TBSP x coconut oil
  • 1 tsp x cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp x nigella seeds
  • Sprinkling of salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced).

Start by toasting the coriander seeds on a medium heat in your dry soup pot. Once they’ve browned a bit and smell nice and toasty, remove and crush with a mortar and pestle. Set the ground seeds aside.

Put the pot back on a med-low heat and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Once the oil has melted, add the onion and cook until soft but not brown.

Stir in the garlic and ginger, as well as one teaspoon each of cumin and nigella seeds, and cook while stirring until the seeds start to pop.

Add the potatoes and cauliflower to the pot and cook for a few minutes, stirring to cover the vegetables in the onion-and-spice mixture.

Pour in the tomatoes, crushed coriander seeeds, chilli and turmeric and cook for a further few minutes before adding the stock. Stir, then cover the pot and cook for around 20-25 minutes – or until you can easily pierce the potatoes and cauliflower with a fork.

In the meantime, make the ‘croutons’ by cutting the other cauliflower half into bite-sized pieces. Pop them on a baking tray with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Sprinkle with a teaspoon each of nigella and cumin seeds, and a good pinch of sea salt.

Cook for 5 minutes before removing from the oven to toss the pan, making sure the cauliflower is covered in oil. Cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the croutons are golden brown.

Once the soup vegetables are tender, take the pot off the heat. Blend with a stick blender until smooth, before stirring through the methi and garam masala. Let the mixture sit for around 5 minutes to infuse the extra spices.

Taste, adding more salt or chilli if necessary, before pouring into soup bowls. Squeeze over ½ lime per serving, and top with a handful of the cauliflower croutons and some fresh coriander leaves.

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