Basmati Soup with Indian Spices
In this sweet and nourishing fall soup, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, mustard, garlic, and fennel warm you from the inside and offer immune support, to help you avoid all of the ailments cold weather can bring.
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 1/2 cups cubed delicata squash
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 pinch saffron
8 cups boiling water
1/2 cup coarsley chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
Melt the ghee in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and mustard seeds. Cover and fry, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until you hear the seeds pop. Add the rice, squash, garlic, salt, cinnamon, turmeric, and saffron and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the rice is fragrant. Lower the heat, then slowly pour in the water. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
Taste the rice for doneness. If you’d like it more tender, just keep cooking until it’s as soft as you like, Stir in the cilantro and ginger. Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired.
The ghee fits the theme and lends a rich, satisfying flavor, but if you’d like to make a vegan version, just substitute extra–virgin coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, sesame oil, or sunflower oil.
For a lighter soup, toast the cumin, fennel, and mustard seeds in a dry skillet, without oil or ghee.
For a spicier soup, add some cayenne pepper when you add the rice.
You can use a large pressure cooker instead of a soup pot. After you add the boiling water, lock on the pressure cooker lid. Bring the pot to pressure over high heat. After 2 minutes, adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally. Taste the rice, and if you’d like it softer, bring the pot back up to pressure and cook about 5 minutes longer.