Tandoori seasoning—a blend of coriander, cumin, garlic, paprika, ginger, cardamom, and saffron—combines with shiitake mushrooms, sweet yams, and fresh tarragon for a soup that is earthy yet exotic. This is one of my favorite soups.
Tandoori seasoning is an aromatic mix of spices. Orange- and red-colored seasoning mixes typically include cumin, garlic, ginger, coriander, and paprika. Some will add in turmeric, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, onion, clove, cinnamon and saffron. If you don’t have tandoori seasoning, you can use curry powder in a pinch, or you can make your own tandoori blend by searching “tandoori spice blend recipes” online (leaving out any salt).
- 1 cup chopped shallots (or onion)
- 6 cups water
- 1½ pounds white potatoes, peeled and chopped into ¾-inch pieces (about 3½ cups)
- 1 pound yams, peeled and chopped into ¾-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
- 4 ribs celery, sliced (about 1½ cups)
- 1 can cooked navy or other white beans (15 ounces; about 1½ cups), drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon tandoori seasoning
- 1½ teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1½ teaspoons dried basil
- ⅓ pound shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2½ cups)
- 3 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard or beet greens
- 1½ cups cooked brown lentils, drained
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a soup pot over medium-high heat. When the water starts to sputter, add the shallot (or onion), and cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, adding a little water as needed.
- Add the water, potatoes, yams, celery, half of the can of beans (or ¾ cup), tandoori seasoning, garlic, and basil. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, then cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
- Blend the soup with an immersion blender until it is mostly smooth. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully ladle the soup into a blender and blend, then return it to the pot.)
- Stir in the mushrooms, greens, lentils, remaining white beans, and tarragon, and cook covered on low for 15 minutes.
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