Adapted from India, the Complete Vegetarian Table by Yamuna Devi. Appeared in Stone Soup on October 7, 2003
6 Potatoes (about 2 lbs.) 6 Cups Vegetable Stock
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Cups whole Milk
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 Tbsp. brown mustard seeds
3 Tbsp. shredded coconut
1/2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 lb. trimmed and washed spinach
Paprika or cayenne for garnish
Peel and thinly slice potatoes. Heat 1 Tb butter in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the cardamom, coriander, and coconut and fry until the mixture is fragrant. Add the spinach and potatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender (about 25 minutes)
Remove from the heat and add the milk. Puree the soup until smooth (food processor, immersion blender, or blender). Season with salt and pepper.
In a small pan, toast the mustard seeds, partially covered, until they pop, remove from the heat, add the remaining 1 Tb butter and the lemon zest. Pour the seasonings into the soup and briefly reheat (if the soup is too thick, thin with a little more milk). Ladle into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika or cayenne.