Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Burger and...Soup? Why Not?! Yogurt Soup with Cumin and Mini Curried Buffalo Bugers in Pita Pockets for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Burgers and fries, burgers and chips, even burgers and salads go together pretty regularly, but burgers and soup might seem like an odd combination. When it is the pairing of a simple light and cold Yogurt Soup with cucumber and tomato, along with a slightly spicy Mini Curried Buffalo Burgers in Pita Pockets, it works. The soup is from Madhur Jaffrey's Spice Kitchen, a little book I picked up at a book sale for $1.00. The curried mini burgers are my own concoction. Together they make a great soup & sandwich combo for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays. 

Jaffrey says about the soup: "For North Indians, the creamy tartness if yogurt and the earthy nuttiness of cumin seeds, which have been roasted and ground, go together like--well--a horse and carriage. Cumin is also considered to be a cooling spice, so this light, delightful cold soup is perfect for a warm summer day. It is very gently spiced, as a lot of Indian dishes are. And it needs no cooking! I use low-fat yogurt, but you could just as easily use the creamier full-fat variety. If you are in a hurry, you can just chop up the tomato, but it is preferable to peel and de-seed it first. I use one large tomato and simply drop it into boiling water for 15 seconds and then peel it. Then I cut in in half crosswise, gently squeeze out all the seeds, and dice the shell. Refrigerate the chicken stock, then strain it so that no particles of congealed fat fall into the soup."

Yogurt Soup with Cumin (Safed Shorva)
Madhur Jaffrey's Spice Kitchen
(Serves 4)

600 ml / 1 pint plain yogurt
900 ml /1 & 1/2 pints chicken stock, all fat removed
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated very finely
75 g / 2 & 1/2 oz cucumber, peeled, de-seeded, and finely diced
75 g / 2 & 1/2 0z tomato, peeled, de-seeded, and finely diced
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds roasted and ground
2 tsp fresh mint or green coriander, or a mixture of the two, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Put the yogurt in a bowl. Beat with a fork until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the stock, mixing it in as you do so. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix. Refrigerate until needed. Stir well before serving. 

Notes/Results: Good. It is an easy soup to throw together, just some slicing and stirring and a quick dip in boiling water for the tomato, then put the whole thing into the fridge to get nice and cold, making it perfect for a hot day. As Jaffrey notes, it is a mild, cooling soup with just a little hint of heat at the end from the cayenne. I think on its own it might have been slightly boring but with the spiciness of the burger, a cup of the soup was a good match and made for a nice supper. Especially when paired with yesterday's Hibiscus Tea with Vodka and Citrus and a fresh mango for dessert.

For the burgers, I used my favorite ground buffalo, for its leanness, high protein and rich flavor, but lean ground beef or turkey would work just fine. I spiced them up with onion, garlic, curry, cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Mini whole-wheat pitas, tomato, lettuce, mint leaves and some yogurt-chutney sauce make a light and easy Indian-inspired burger. 

Mini Curried Buffalo Bugers in Pita Pockets
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 6 Mini-Burgers)

1 lb ground buffalo (or lean ground beef or ground turkey breast)
1 small, sweet onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
cayenne pepper to taste (I used 1/4 tsp as I used a spicier curry powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chutney

6 small whole wheat pitas
lettuce, tomatoes, mint leaves

Place ground buffalo in a mixing bowl and add ingredients through pepper. Mix gently but thoroughly. Divide spiced meat into half and then each half into thirds. Make six small patties. Heat a grill pan over-medium high heat. Brush with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Add patties and cook until done to your liking, (about 4-5 minutes per side for medium). (You can of course also use your barbecue grill)

Mix yogurt and chutney together. Slit whole-wheat pitas lengthwise, carefully opening them wide enough to insert burgers. Spread one side with yogurt-chutney sauce, layer each with lettuce, buffalo patty, tomatoes and mint leaves. 

Notes/Results: Delicious! The curry and spices make a nice change to a regular burger and the sweetness of the chutney combined with the cool, thick yogurt makes a nice contrast to the burger's spice. The smaller size and using the whole-wheat mini pitas, make this a lighter sandwich, perfect with a cup or small bowl of the soup. You can alter these to fit your tastes by changing the spices or adding different condiments. 

We have some delicious looking soups and salads in the Souper Sunday kitchen today, so let's take a look!

Our first soup comes from Heather from girlichef. Tasked with selecting the "Blogger Secret Ingredient" this week for a blogging event, Heather chose "greens". Making the most of her choice, she used some turnip greens and created a Greens & Spicy Sausage Soup. Tomatoes, beans, herbs, and some chili flakes round out this spicy, hearty soup and Heather says to serve it "with a nice loaf of crusty bread for sopping up the juices".

Kim from Ordinary Recipes Made Gourmet is back this week with a creamy Corn Shrimp Chowder. Although this is "Grill Month" on her blog, she kindly took the time to put together a soup to share at Souper Sundays this week. Preferring a slightly lighter soup for summer, but still wanting something comforting, Kim likes the spicy little kick from the cayenne and says this soup is a "must try".

For L.K. at Healthy. Delicious., having a busy work week means preparing a big batch of something good to eat to take for lunches and dinners. She says this Spinach and Lemon Soup with Goat Cheese Ravioli, works well in the warm weather due to the lemon juice in the broth which "keeps it very light and refreshing, almost like drinking a cup of herbal tea". To round out the soup and make it more of a meal, she added some homemade goat cheese ravioli. Can you say Yum!?!

Finding herself having lunch alone, Ulrike at Küchenlatein, made a small batch of this Fennel, Cardamon and Coconut Soup to enjoy. Nicely spiced with Thai flavors and a kick of chili paste, Ulrike says with some fresh baked bread, it was perfect for lunch. Since the weather in Northern Germany has been so cold and rainy, it is perfect for a warming soup like this one. 

And two wonderful salads to share:

Alisa from One Frugal Foodie is here with a gorgeous Orange-Sesame Chicken Salad, highlighting a delicious salad dressing recipe she adapted from Cooking Light. Knowing the key to enjoying a healthy salad is a great dressing, Alisa found this slightly sweet, slightly spicy dressing to be "fabulously flavorful". She thinks it would also be great as a marinade for shrimp, chicken or tofu too. 

Combining three of my favorite ingredients into one healthy dish is Joanne from Eats Well With Others, who made this simple Mango, Black Bean, and Quinoa Salad. Sauteing the veggies and the mango before adding them to the salad intensified their flavor and made it extra tasty. Joanne says, "each bite was like a whirlwind in my mouth," and adds that this is a great dish for nights when you want to throw something together quickly.

Thanks to everyone who participated in Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sunday this week. As usual, you amaze me with the incredible variety of recipes you come up with!  

If you have a soup, salad or sandwich you'd like to share, click on the Souper Sundays logo on the sidebar for all of the details.

Have a wonderful week! 


  1. ooh you did check out the book sale, jealous!! I read Madhur Jaffery's essay and it was wonderful. This burger and soup sounds so good!

  2. Kat--Nope! It was last year's purchase--still holding strong! ;-) So far...

  3. No contest - you win the longest post title award :-). It all looks wonderful. Enjoy every morsel.

  4. I was thinking "man, that is one mondo burger"...and it is actually mini!? LOL! Both the soup and the burger sound delicious!

  5. Even tho I haven't made a soup in a while, I still check up every Sunday on all your soups and take notes.

    Everything looks great!

  6. the buffalo and pita and soup looks great I love your cooking

  7. I love Madhu Jaffrey, I have the World Vegetarian book.
    Dinner looks wonderful, just the thing for a humid day.

  8. Wow - everything looks great! (as always).

    I love the pita burgers - and while I'd probably use beef, the combination of spices really sound interesting and exciting.

  9. mmm, I love buffalo burgers! All of the posts for this round-up look great. Thanks for putting it together!

  10. Love buffalo burgers and the yogurt soup sounds excellent! Wonderful flavors!

  11. Your soup and burger make a perfectly delicious match! And they both sound delicious all on their own.

  12. Totally sold on the burger-salad combo!


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