Yum Peaceful Cooking: Garam Masala Cream Soup

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Garam Masala Cream Soup

Garam Masala is a mixture of ground spices, often used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. I often use it when making a tomato based curry but I found this recipe on the label when I first bought it and I love it. It's full of flavors that are not common in American cuisines. The recipe doesn't call for salt or garlic, which are a mainstay in my cooking and it's very hard for me to hold back from using them. But trust me...this soup doesn't need it. Its a quick, easy recipe and very satisfying. After a long week at work, this was just what I needed.

You can find Garam Masala in the spice section of your grocery store. Over the years, more and more brands make it. I'm sure there's a recipe somewhere on the net that will tell you how to make it if you can't find it in your store. The most common ingredients (though they vary according to region) are cardamom, cumin, bay leaves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and coriander.

The ingredients are:

Garam Masala Soup
Printable Version

1/4 cup butter
16 oz chopped veggies
1/2 cup flour
14.5 oz chicken broth
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon Garam Masala
1 tablespoon parsley flakes

For the vegetables you can just use a bag of frozen veggies, and I do use some to get a nice variety, but I chop up a couple of zucchini, some broccoli and onions. Melt the butter over a med- high heat then add the veggies and saute until tender. The frozen veggies will get tender quicker. I put a lid on the pan to help the veggies get tender, faster.

Add the flour; stir and cook for 1 minute. Why? Because you want to cook away the flour flavor. This step allows the flour to absorb some of the flavor in the pan and adhere to the veggies so you don't get lumps when you add the liquid. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of that process, but I was busy stirring and didn't think about grabbing the camera..... my bad. 

Add the chicken broth and milk. If you want this to be a strictly vegetarian dish, by all means, use vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth. Stir and cook until thick and creamy, about 10 minutes.

Add the Garam Masala and parsley flakes; stir well and serve immediately. 

It's that simple. If you let it sit too long it will continue to thicken, the same way gravy does, so it really is best to eat it right away. I have had it the next day and it's flavor is even bolder. I just add a little bit of liquid before I heat it up to thin it out a bit. Although its not bad cold either. 

A nice slice of rustic bread goes great with this. If you're interested, check out my blog entry for No-Knead Bread. I'm making a loaf right now. I added a tablespoon of dill, caraway seed and 2 tablespoons of parsley to the bread during the first step. I got the idea from a bread machine recipe that I have used often in the past (and even used it with this soup for tonight's dinner since I didn't have any bread in the house and was too lazy to run to the store). It reminds me of a more flavorful version of rye bread. I'm hoping the No-Knead Bread will be even better than the bread machine recipe. 


  1. You know, I just don't care for garam masala. I have a buddy who loves Indian food and it drives him crazy that I won't eat it. But I know a lot of people who would love this, I'll send it out to them. :)

  2. Bob - one of my daughters isn't thrilled with it. I think its one of those things where you either love it or you don't. A lot of us aren't use to some of these spices in our dinners, such as cinnamon. In my mind, thats a dessert spice...you know? So it takes some "mental" adjusting too.

  3. Sounds absolutely delicious!!!! I love to hide cinnamon, coriander, cardamom and mace in my savory dishes... Makes them more interesting... Love it Danielle!!!


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