Tuesday, October 09, 2012

PEMs Indian Spice Soup

We recently received a guest inquiry about the recipe for the Indian Spice Soup served at the Peabody Essex Museum's Restaurants. We do not typically give out our recipes because of the quantity we make, but the chef, Rhiannon Nowak, wanted to offer some helpful hints on recreating the dish at home. 

If you are a cook who enjoys making Indian food and has done so before, feel free to try your hand at this delicious recipe

In email correspondence with our guest, you can glean some helpful hints, and if you can cook and know how to make soup, you can probably come fairly close.
Atrium at PEM


Hi Bonnie! 

This email is in regards to the comment card you left at the garden. My name is Rhiannon, I'm the chef here at the Peabody Essex Museum. The former chef here, Brooke, who was here helping me that day, made that soup.

We made a 10-gallon batch of soup that morning, and it's not a recipe we write down for later use. What I can tell you is that if you make tandoori chicken separately, and add it into a soup, the yogurt marinade will permeate the whole soup. Some of the components we used were the tandoori-style chicken, dal, which is a split lentil, vegetable broth and many sauteed vegetables. I have always believed that the key to a good soup is sauteing the vegetables first, in whatever fat you'd like -- in this case ghee or butter and extra virgin olive oil, and adding the spices when the vegetables are 5 minutes from being ready, so that the spices lose that raw flavor and really infuse the stock with flavor. Some of the vegetables we used are zucchini, summer squash, celery, onions, carrots and asparagus. Some of the spices we used are curry, fresh ginger, mustard seed, paprika, garlic, coriander and garam masala which is a very common Indian spice blend.

The poppadoms we purchased from EZ Indian in Woburn. It's a wonderful store and one that I think will carry a lot of what you'll need to make this soup at home.

I'm sorry I can't give you a more specific recipe, but if you are comfortable making soups regularly, I have no doubt you'll be able to duplicate it with no trouble!
Thank you so much for your visit to the museum, and for making Brooke's day by appreciating her hard work!

I hope to see you here again soon, thank you again,

Rhiannon Nowak


I too was able to have some of this delicious soup that day, and I can assure you it was worth the trouble we went to in order to make it.  But if cooking is not your thing, or if, like me you don't have a way to utilize gallons of soup, you might just want to become a regular at the Atrium Cafe at PEM.  Our soup changes there daily, is always creative and made on the premises, is reasonably priced, and delicious.  

Remember, you do not need to pay admission to eat at either of PEMs restaurants.

I hope to see you here or there, 


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