What We’re Cooking Now: Indian Spiced Vegetable Soup

Various spices can lift the normal pot of soup into something extraordinary, and this recipe was just that.  We are never at a loss for spices in the cupboard, but often I just use the same ones all the time.  Pulling some of the spice jars out of the back of the cabinet I made this vegetable soup last weekend and took it from traditional American to an Indian spiced specialty. 


Indian Spiced Vegetable Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion – chopped
2 carrots – peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery – chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 leek – white and light green parts only – chopped
1 yellow squash – chopped
1 zucchini – chopped
1 red pepper – chopped
1 yellow pepper – chopped
1 fennel bulb – chopped into bite size chunks
1 large can stewed tomatoes – liquid reserved, tomatoes chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro – chopped
2 tablespoons Italian parsley – chopped
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons fenugreek
1 1/2 teaspoons ground, toasted fennel seed
2 teaspoons each salt and pepper + any additional for final seasoning
2 quarts low sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts for garnish
Steamed white rice as an accompaniment

In a large soup pot heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion, leek, celery, carrot, garlic, peppers and fennel. Saute until veggies soften slightly, about 5 minutes.  Add the squash and season with the salt and pepper and continue cooking for about 5 minutes as veggies continue to soften.  Add all the dried seasonings, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and tomatoes with liquid.  Cook together for about 5 minutes so all the flavors begin to incorporate.  Add the chicken stock and raisins and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.  Add cilantro and parsley.  When ready to serve adjust seasoning adding any additional salt or pepper to your palate and ladle into soup bowls.  Top with a scoop of white rice and a sprinkle of pine nuts.