Thursday, December 3, 2009

Onion Saffron Soup

"You can't get too much winter in the winter" - Robert Frost

As the poet aptly said, winter is the time of soft white snow, of christmas and lots of goodies.

We love the winter, especially the fresh snow. This year, however, the snows are making us wait. Its still pretty warm for the time of the year and a white christmas is not guranteed.

Along with the winter go hot soups...especially after a tiring day, there is nothing like a nice fresh hot soup to cheer one up. And if the soup is accompanied by a fresh home baked bread... where the smell wafts through the apartment, and my hubby knows as soon as he enters the door on his way back from work that there is a special treat awaiting him today.

So here is special soup recipe with lots of saffron. Saffron is the queen of spices, and is one of the basic ingredients of good indian sweets. Of course, it adds to the taste of any number of non sweet dishes as well. I am a little bit of a saffron afficionado and its beautiful, bright colour and the sweet, heavenly smell make it my favourite spice.

2 1/2 cups- warm milk ( low fat)
1 - medium size onion, very thinly sliced
1 tbsp - ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 tsp - cumin seeds
1 1/2 tbsp - flour
1/4 cup - water
1/4 tsp - pepper powder
1/4 tsp - dried thyme
a generous pinch of nutmeg powder
10 - 15 strands of saffron ( more or less, according to taste)
salt to taste

To garnish - 1 tsp - chives

  1. Heat ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds. When the seeds splutter, add thinly sliced onions and saute for a minute.
  2. Add the flour and salt and saute again for about 2-3 minutes( taking care that flour does not get burnt)
  3. Add the warm milk and water and stir continously for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the spices and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.
  5. Correct the consistency by adding some water if required. Serve hot, garnished with chives.

Garnished or not... the soup tastes heavenly.

We had the soup with a spinach-coriander-chive bread and it made a perfect combination. The bread recipe follows soon.



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