Indian-Style Spinach Puree

Course : Curry
Serves: 6
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3 pounds spinach -- washed, stems removed or
40 ounces frozen spinach
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion -- chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup cooked basmati rice
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt and pepper -- to taste

Preparation / Directions:

Cook the spinach leaves in boiling salted water for 1 minute, rinse until cool, and drain. Melt the butter in a 4-quart pot. Add the onion and garlic and stir over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and immediately stir in the cumin, cloves, and nutmeg. Transfer this mixture to a food processor and add 2 cups of the broth, the rice, and the spinach. Puree until smooth. Add more broth if needed to get the mixture to churn around. If you want the soup to be smoother, work it through a food mill with a medium disk. Combine the puree with the rest of the broth, the milk, and the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Check the consistency of the soup. If you want an even smoother texture, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve. This soup can be served hot or cold. If you serve it hot, heat it at the last minute and serve immediately so it doesn't turn gray. If you make it ahead of time (it keeps for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator) quickly chill the pot in a bowl of ice as soon as the soup is ready. If the soup stays hot for too long it will turn gray. "Splendid Soups" by James Peterson, 199

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