My son absolutely loves garlic, so much so that when I make various dishes especially for him - they usually have double the amount of garlic cloves needed. The words “too much garlic” just doesn’t exist in his world. So naturally my Spicy Garlic Soup is his absolute personal favorite, hands down. But no need to worry, I have adjusted the garlic levels in the recipe to suit most palates. You can, of course, further adjust the garlic amounts to suit your own personal tastes.
The health benefits of garlic are numerous & plentiful. Garlic is a naturally occurring antioxidant & also has many cardiovascular/heart healthy benefits. In addition, garlic has antibacterial properties and is thought to help regulate the body’s metabolism. Also, garlic is a very rich source of both Vitamins B-6 and C.
SPICY GARLIC SOUP
½ cup cooked toor dal (aka split yellow pigeon peas or arhar dal), mashed
2 shallots, finely sliced (or you can use 1 small onion)
6-8 large garlic cloves, very finely minced (you can add more or less)
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp ground cumin powder
1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
3½ c water (or vegetable stock/broth or you can even use the cooking liquid from the dal)
½ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
2-3 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
4-5 fresh curry leaves
pinch of asafetida (hing)
4 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola), or you can use ghee or butter
¼ cup cream (you can use yogurt)
1 cup toasty crusted bread, cubed (croutons) - optional
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
In a medium size soup pot on medium high heat, add 2 tbsp of the oil. When hot, add the shallots & garlic. Sauté until just lightly brown & then add the spices (bay leaf, ground cumin powder, salt & pepper). Mix well to combine and then add cooked dal along with 3½ cups of water. Bring to a good boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 6-8 minutes. Lastly, stir in the cream to help round out & balance the flavors.
In a small saucepan on medium high heat, add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When they stop splattering, quickly add the cumin seeds along with the green chilies, curry leaves & asafetida. After 20 seconds, pour this out oil mixture over the garlic soup. Garnish with cilantro leaves & croutons. Serve hot & enjoy.
Feel free to add your favorite vegetables to the soup such as broccoli florets, mushrooms, baby spinach, red bell peppers....