Category Archives: Soup

Autumnal Spinach & Carrot Soup, The Indian Way

Autumnal Spinach & Carrot Soup, The Indian Way

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Autumnal Spinach & Carrot Soup, The Indian Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My blogger friend Teagan of the Three Ingredients Serial fame invites her readers to send in three ingredients for each episode of an ongoing mystery story which she posts in installments.

Teagan uses the ingredients sent in by her avid readers to decide how to move the story forward on ‘per episode’ basis. Her abundant creativity and the clever way she makes use of these ingredients means that each episode takes us on a twisting, turning and teasing ride.

Today’s soup recipe is an ode to Teagan’s three ingredients serial.

I was planning on making a very simple spinach and carrot soup. Some tart yoghurt, ginger garlic paste and paste of minced chillies and ginger were beckoning me from the refrigerator. So, I decided to use these three ingredients (which I would otherwise not consider using in a soup) to create an Indianised spinach and carrot soup.

Mighty pleased to say that the soup turned out to be absolutely superb. So much so that there are a couple of other recipes patiently waiting their turn to be posted but this one’s jumped the queue!

a warming, spunky soup which makes you forget how healthy it actually is

Ingredients

250 Grams spinach

1 Medium size carrot

1 Medium size onion

1 Head of garlic

1 Teaspoon ginger-garlic paste

1 Teaspoon green chilli-ginger paste

1 Tablespoon tart/tangy/sour yoghurt

1-2 Teaspoons oil

1 Cup water

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Thoroughly wash the spinach.
  2. Wash, scrape and roughly chop the carrot.
  3. Boil the spinach and carrot in one cup of water and a pinch of salt.
  4. Once cooked, let the vegetables cool down completely.
  5. Blend the vegetables till you get a puree like consistency. It is okay if a few carrot pieces remain whole.
  6. Peel, wash and chop the onion.
  7. Peel and chop the garlic.
  8. Heat the oil in a pot.
  9. Once the oil is hot, lower the heat and throw in the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt.
  10. Stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  11. Uncover and add the pastes of ginger-garlic and chilli-ginger.
  12. Add the yoghurt.
  13. Mix well.
  14. Add the pureed spinach and carrot.
  15. Check for soup like consistency. Add more water at this stage if you find it too thick.
  16. Check for salt and add a bit more if you feel it lacking.
  17. Bring to a rolling boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  18. Enjoy hot with some bread stick or crusty loaf.

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A Very Seedy Cauliflower Soup

Seedy Cauliflower Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If this soup could talk, it would tell you (in Kenneth Parcell’s voice, of course),

hey Ms/ter, I may be seedy but I am not run down

Indeed, there is nothing shabby or unsavoury about this soup. Au contraire, roasted and powdered sunflower and pumpkin seeds provide this soup an edge and a blooming dose of superiority.

As we know, seeds are full of goodness and health. To quote John Summerly, a seed “is an embryonic plant itself and the origin of nutrition. A plant goes to great lengths to produce each seed and fill it with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils and dormant enzymes.”

If seeds are so good for us, I wondered why the word seedy has such a negative connotation so I did a bit of research and according to Online Etymology Dictionary, “[the] meaning ‘shabby’ is from 1739, probably in reference to the appearance of a flowering plant that has run to seed.”

So there we go. That’s our etymology lesson for the day!

Coming back to this elegant soup, apart from the seeds, it also becomes extra special because of the cauliflower leaves and stalks which are included.

So let me share my kooky and seedy cauliflower soup recipe with you.

Ingredients

1 Small head cauliflower with fresh green leaves and stalk attached

1 Large onion

1 Pod garlic

1 Vegetable stock cube

1 Tablespoon mix of sunflower and pumpkin seeds

1 Tablespoon olive oil

A generous pinch of freshly ground pepper

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Take the seeds and dry roast them in a pan till they become a couple of shades darker (see photo below). You will know that they are done when they emit a nice and toasty aroma.
  2. Once the seeds have cooled down completely, powder them. You can coarsely grind them if you prefer, no hard and fast rule about this.
  3. Next, remove the leaves and stalk from cauliflower and set aside.
  4. Coarsely chop the cauliflower, wash the florets and put them in a soup pot or equivalent.
  5. Add 1 cup of water, salt to taste and the stock cube to the cauliflower.
  6. Place the pot on high heat, bring to boil, cover, lower the heat and let the vegetable simmer for about 10 minutes till it is tender.
  7. Strain the cooked cauliflower, reserving its cooking liquor.
  8. Puree the cauliflower and mix it with its liquor to get the soup base.
  9. Next, take the onion. Peel, wash and finely dice it.
  10. Wash the cauliflower leaves and stalk and finely chop them.
  11. Peel and chop the garlic.
  12. In a saucepan, place the chopped onion, leaves, stalk and garlic along with a pinch of salt and the oil.
  13. Mix well and put the saucepan on low heat.
  14. Cover and let the vegetables cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  15. Remove the lid and add the cauliflower soup base along with the crushed pepper.
  16. Stir, cover and let the soup cook for about 12 to 15 minutes on very gentle heat.
  17. Once bubbles start forming, you know it is done so take it off the heat and pour the soup in a bowl.
  18. Sprinkle the powdered seeds and serve.

This is my cauliflower with its fresh leaves and stalk

Cauliflower Stalks Used in Seedy Cauliflower Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The leaves and stalk washed and awaiting the chopping board.

Cauliflower Stalks for Seedy Cauliflower Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To give you some idea as to how far to toast the seeds. The bottom bowl contains raw seeds whereas the top one has the toasted ones.

Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds for Seedy Cauliflower Soup

Fat Free Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fatima's Pumpkin SoupI have to thank my friend Fatima for today’s soup recipe. She sent me the cutest soup photograph ever (right) and wrote, “The pumpkins that don’t go to the Halloween ball end up in my plate as soup! This is a great dinner on a cold winter’s night.  Its healthy too”.

Just the inspiration I needed, specially since I have not made soup for a while.

Boiled Pumpkin, Carrot & Lentil for Pumpkin SoupI have followed Fatima’s recipe except for a couple of digressions.

I didn’t have the split red lentils (masoor dal) which she used so added whole lentils instead.

Fatima also included spring onion which I totally forgot about.

In case you are wondering about the difference in colour between the two soups, I think it may be down to the fact that I didn’t peel my pumpkin.

The soup tastes quite meaty (apologies to my vegetarian readers) and full-bodied (for wont of a better term).

Fatima is Goan and she suggests that you can “pour some olive oil over if you like – that’s the Portuguese style and adds to the taste.” This is what I did (you can see my inartistic attempt at drizzling some of the oil in the photo on the top!) and it is, indeed, quite nice. But of course, if you would like a fat free soup, skip this step and it will taste just as good.

Fatima’s email has provided me with just the impetus I needed to resume my souping exercise so expect to see a couple more soup recipes in the forthcoming posts :-).

Ingredients

250 Grams pumpkin

1 Large carrot

2 Tablespoons red lentils

Salt to taste

Olive oil to drizzle on top (optional)

Method

  1. Peel, wash and cube the pumpkin.
  2. Wash and chop the carrot.
  3. Wash the lentil.
  4. Put the above three ingredients in a soup pot or equivalent and add two cups of water.
  5. Add salt to taste and mix well.
  6. Cover and put on high heat. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes till the vegetables and lentil are soft and mushy.
  7. Now take the pot off the heat and let it cool down completely.
  8. Strain the vegetables and lentil, reserving the cooking liquor.
  9. Puree the strained vegetables and lentil and add this puree back to the cooking liquor.
  10. Mix well and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  11. Pour the soup into a bowl, drizzle some olive oil (if using) and serve hot.

 

Green Pea Soup with Mint & Mushroom

Green Pea Soup with Mint & Mushroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I wrote in my yesterday’s quinoa post, green peas are in abundance so I bought plenty on impulse. Next comes the case of figuring out how to make use of them!

Seeing as how it was my soup night, I was thinking of ways I could use them in a soup or a broth. Was very tempted to make the classic British pea and ham soup but ham felt a bit indulgent seeing as how I had gorged on prawn biryani in a restaurant the night before! So I was trying to imagine which other vegetable I could pair with fresh peas and suddenly hit upon mushrooms.

mushrooms are similar to ham in terms of texture so I guess you can call this a vegetarian version of pea and ham soup

I think this soup works really well because of the fresh ingredients. It won’t taste the same if using frozen peas and dried mint.

a totally scrumptious soup

Ingredients

1.5 Cups fresh peas

150 Grams button mushroom

1 Cup fresh mint leaves

1 Large onion

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Vegetable stock cube

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash the peas.
  2. Wipe/wash and slice the mushroom.
  3. Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
  4. Wash and chop the mint leaves.
  5. Place the peas in a pan along with 1 cup of water, salt and stock cube.
  6. Bring to boil, cover, lower the heat and let the peas cook for about 10 minutes.
  7. Take off the heat, drain the peas reserving the cooking liquor.
  8. Once the peas have cooled down, puree them.
  9. Add the pureed peas back to the cooking liquor and mix well.
  10. Add the chopped mint leaves to the pea mixture.
  11. Take a soup pot (or equivalent) and heat the oil in it.
  12. Add the chopped onion with a pinch of salt. Stir around a bit, lower heat, cover and let the onion cook for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  13. Uncover, add the sliced mushroom and 1 cup of water, cover and let the mushrooms cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  14. Uncover, tip in the pea mixture with mint. Combine well. Cover and gently heat the soup for 10 minutes.
  15. Serve hot.

 

Fat Free Amaranth Leaves & Broccoli Soup

Fat Free Amaranth Leaves & Broccoli Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having been introduced to amaranth leaves fairly recently, till now, I have only used them raw in salad as a substitute to lettuce.

So, when I got a bunch of this reddish/purplish leafy vegetable yesterday, and seeing as how it was my soup day, I decided to pair it with broccoli for another one of my fat free soups.

The amaranth leaves which I got were deep purple but at times, you can also find the green variety.

Fat Free Soup of Broccoli & Amaranth LeavesOnce cooked, amaranth leaves lend a slightly acidic taste to the final dish. This was a pleasant discovery because even before I had started preparing the soup, I was wondering whether to add a couple of dollops of yoghurt at the end. But when I finally tasted the soup, there was no need.

For this recipe, if you can’t find amaranth leaves, you can use swiss chard or spinach. If you do use amaranth leaves, along with the colourful leaves, use only the tender stems as the tough ones are too fibrous.

Surprisingly, this soup turned out to be very filling. I had it on its own but it would be equally delicious with some bread.

Ingredients

200 Grams broccoli

2 Cups amaranth leaves

Vegetable stock cube

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and roughly chop the broccoli. Use the base if it is tender.
  2. Wash the amaranth leaves.
  3. Place the broccoli and amaranth leaves in a pot along with salt, 2 cups of water and the stock cube.
  4. Bring to boil, cover and let the vegetables cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Take them off the heat and strain the vegetables retaining the cooking liquor.
  6. Blend the vegetables and transfer them back into the cooking liquor.
  7. Mix well and cook on low heat for about 5 to 7 minutes till the soup is heated through.
  8. Serve hot.

 

Nutty Mushroom Soup

Nutty Mushroom Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love all varieties of mushrooms in all types of dishes. Be they stuffed, sauteed, on a pizza, made into a pate, in a stir-fry, saucy, mushrooms can hold their own against other vegetables.

Given my penchant for these rubbery gems, it is surprising that I didn’t get around to making a mushroom soup sooner ever since I have started my alternate-day-soup regime.

For today’s recipe, I decided to throw in some nuts to give the soup a bit of creamy finish. I also added some chopped mushrooms to the pureed ones for some texture.

The following is more of a template. Use the type of mushrooms, nuts and stock cube you like.

You can use two separate varieties of mushrooms, one for pureeing and another for chopping. I used button since those were the only ones which I could get hold of.

As for the nuts, I used a combination of brazil nuts, pecan nuts and walnuts. You can add whichever ones you like or have on hand.

For extra flavour, I used an organic beef stock cube. In my opinion, beef and mushrooms make for compatible companions.

Ingredients

1 Cup cleaned mushrooms (whole)

1 Cup cleaned mushrooms (chopped)

1 Onion

1 Head garlic

6-8 nuts of your choice (use only one type or a combination)

Stock cube of your choice

A slug of sherry or port wine

A pinch of thyme

One tablespoon olive oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Place the whole mushrooms, nuts, stock cube and a pinch of salt in a pot along with 2 cups of water.
  2. Bring to boil, cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Once the mushrooms cool down, remove them (and the nuts) with a slotted spoon.
  4. Keep aside the liquor they were cooked in.
  5. Blend the mushrooms and nuts and add this mixture back to the cooking liquor.
  6. Peel, wash and chop the onion.
  7. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  8. Now, heat oil in a soup pot (or equivalent).
  9. Add the onion and garlic with a bit of salt and stir well.
  10. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  11. Uncover and add the port wine or sherry.
  12. Let this cook for a couple of minutes and then add the chopped mushrooms with a pinch of thyme.
  13. Combine well, cover and cook this for about 5 to 7 minutes on low heat.
  14. Once the chopped mushrooms are cooked, add the puree of mushrooms and nuts.
  15. Stir well and gently heat through.
  16. Take the soup off the heat when bubbles start appearing on the surface.
  17. Serve hot.

Lentil and Vegetable Soup, The Kooky Way

Lentil and Vegetable Soup, The Kooky Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s soup recipe has a story behind it.

Purple Rat-tailed RadishMy friend brought home a bunch of rat-tailed radish (also known as purple mogri) and I was a bit stumped since it was my soup day and I didn’t know how to make use of this vegetable.

As the name suggests, rat-tailed radish is part of the radish (mooli) family. These are radish pods which can be green or purple and can vary in length. To the right is the photo of what ours looked like.

In terms of taste, if you bite into them raw, they are quite pungent. Once cooked, their pungency reduces.

They can be used in stir fries or salads.

As it was my soup day, I decided to make an Indian style soup of this vegetable with lentils and fenugreek leaves.

Rat-tailed Radish, Moong Dal and Fenugreek LeavesThe soup recipe is totally flexible. It has three components: lentils, vegetables and leaves. I used yellow moong dal (split peas), rat-tailed radish and fenugreek leaves (methi).

You can substitute with whatever is in your kitchen or larder or vegetable box.

Lentils:  You can use red lentils, green lentils, brown lentils or even black lentils. For this recipe, you need to use the ones which are quick cooking.

Vegetable: Substitute with cauliflower or turnip or pumpkin or courgette or any other vegetable that is seasonal.

Greens: Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens, Watercress, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens or any other leafy vegetable can be used.

Ingredients

1 Cup lentils

1 Cup vegetable of your choice, washed and chopped

1 Cup leaves of your choice, washed and chopped

2 Onions

2 Tomatoes

1 Head of garlic

2 Green chillies

Fresh ginger, the size of your thumb

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1 Teaspoon mustard seeds

1 Teaspoon cumin seeds

A pinch of asafoetida (optional)

1 Tablespoon oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Peel, wash and chop the onions.
  2. Wash and finely dice the tomatoes.
  3. Peel and chop the garlic.
  4. Grate the ginger.
  5. Wash the lentils.
  6. Heat oil in a soup pot (or equivalent). Make sure your cookware is non-stick or you will have to stir continuously to avoid lentils sticking to the base.
  7. Once the oil becomes hot, add the mustard seeds.
  8. Once the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the cumin seeds.
  9. Once the cumin seeds stop spluttering, add the asafoetida (if using).
  10. Give it a quick stir and add the chopped onions and garlic.
  11. Add a pinch of salt, lower the heat, cover and let this cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  12. Next, add the diced tomatoes, turmeric, chillies and ginger.
  13. Mix well, cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  14. Now, add the lentils and vegetables, 3 cups of water, some more salt and combine well.
  15. Bring to boil and once it starts boiling vigorously, lower the heat, cover and let the lentils and vegetable cook for about 20 minutes.
  16. Uncover and mash the lentils with the back of the spoon. Now, you should have a soupy texture of lentils and vegetables.
  17. Throw in the leaves, stir, cover and cook for 10 more minutes.
  18. Serve hot.

Note:

  1. You can adjust the quantity of chillies to suit your taste.

Fat Free Carrot & Celery Soup

Fat Free Carrot and Celery Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to Dr. Gabe Mirkin, “Many people think that all fresh fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients than cooked ones, but a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports that cooked, pureed carrots have higher levels of antioxidants than fresh carrots. Cooking carrots in the presence of a small amount of fat increases the amount of two antioxidants called beta carotene and phenolic acid. Cooking breaks the plant cells open to increase the absorption of these antioxidants and other beneficial plant chemicals. Adding fat increases absorption of fat soluble chemicals.”

Similarly, tomatoes are also more nutritious cooked than raw.

So this soup may look a bit “meh” but, trust me, in terms of taste it definitely delivers!

a combination of carrots and celery make for a fragrant and hearty soup

I had mine with some sweet potato crouton (you can see one floating in the photo above).

Ingredients

2 Carrots

4-5 Stick celery

Stock cube

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and roughly chop the carrots and celery.
  2. If your celery has leaves, you can use those too.
  3. Put the chopped vegetables in a largish saucepan along with a pinch of salt, stock cube and 2 cups of water.
  4. Bring to boil, cover and let it cook for about 7 to 8 minutes till vegetables are cooked.
  5. Drain the vegetables retaining the cooking liquor.
  6. Once the vegetables have cooled down, puree them and place them back in their liquor.
  7. Heat gently till bubbles appear on the surface.
  8. Serve hot.

Note:

  1. I used fish stock cube for today’s soup recipe. You can use chicken or vegetable if you like or even omit the stock  cube altogether.

The celery we get is the skinny type with plenty of leaves which I used for the soup.

Carrot and Celery for Fat Free Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fat Free Pumpkin, Cabbage & Spinach Soup

Fat Free Pumpkin, Cabbage and Spinach Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The festivities are over, decorations have been taken down and it is back to routine as we get into 2014. In my case, this also means it is back to my alternate-day-soup regime.

When I started having soup every other day beginning of last December, I felt healthier and guilt-free about the excess over Christmas and New Year. And the best part was that I actually lost weight even though I was feasting and indulging.

I think this is a more practical, enjoyable and stress free approach to  weight management (as opposed to over indulging and then going on crash or excessive diets to lose the pounds).

say hello to a filling and deliciously creamy soup

Today’s soup features pumpkin, cabbage and spinach. Pumpkin provides just the right body and a slightly sweet touch to counterbalance the otherwise “bland” taste of boiled spinach and cabbage.

The soup is surprisingly flavoursome and creamy. And of course, so low in calories!

Ingredients

250 Grams pumpkin

1 Cup cabbage

250 Grams spinach

1 Stock cube

1 Teaspoon allspice powder

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First, we need to prep the vegetables. Wash and cube the pumpkin. Leave the skin on, it provides additional taste.
  2. Wash and roughly chop the cabbage.
  3. Wash the spinach. Retain stems if tender.
  4. In a large pot, put the pumpkin and cabbage.
  5. Add the stock cube, salt to taste and 2 cups of water.
  6. Bring to boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Open the lid and add the spinach.
  8. Cover and let this cook for 10 more minutes.
  9. Once the vegetables have cooled down, strain them retaining the cooking liquor.
  10. Put the strained vegetables in a food processor or a blender. You want to make a puree but try and leave whole some pieces of cabbage and pumpkin.
  11. In a soup pot, add the cooking liquor.
  12. To this, add the pureed vegetables, allspice powder and freshly ground black pepper.
  13. Heat it gently till bubbles start appearing on the surface.
  14. Switch off the burner and serve hot.

Note:

  1. I had used chicken stock cube. You can use vegetable if you prefer.
  2. If you don’t have allspice powder, blend some cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and add a pinch of this mixture to the soup.

Here is how I had chopped the pumpkin and cabbage. You can see that I’d not peeled the pumpkin.

Pumpkin and Cabbage Ready for Fat Free Pumpkin, Cabbage and Spinach Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding spinach once the other two vegetables have partly cooked.

Spinach for Fat Free Pumpkin, Cabbage and Spinach Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooked pumpkin, spinach and cabbage ready to be pureed.

Cooked Pumpkin, Cabbage and Spinach for Fat Free Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End result: a delicious bowl of fat free pumpkin, cabbage and spinach Soup

A Delicious Bowl of Fat Free Pumpkin, Cabbage and Spinach Soup

Fat Free Ginger Redolent Broth of Bean Curd & Vegetables, The Asian Way

Fat Free Ginger Redolent Broth with Bean Ciurd and Tofu, The Asian Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I started my first kooky soup post with a broth and given my current obsession with soups, it seems fitting that I say farewell to 2013 with another one of my fat free broth recipes!

This one is very simple to prepare and tastes absolutely heavenly thanks to the generosity of ginger.

For additional flavour, I added a beef stock cube; you can use one of your choice.

You can play around with the vegetables. I made it with broccoli, mushrooms and baby corn to stick to the Asian theme.

Ingredients

1 Cup washed and chopped broccoli

1 Cup washed and chopped mushrooms

1 Cup washed and chopped baby corn

1/2 Cup bean curd, cubed

Fresh ginger root the size of your thumb twice over

Stock cube

2 to 3 cups water

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and finely grate the ginger. Keep any juices which come out.
  2. Pour the water in a soup pot along with grated ginger, its juice and the stock cube.
  3. Bring to boil, add the baby corn, cover, lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Next, add the bean curd, broccoli and mushrooms along with a pinch of salt.
  5. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes till vegetables are tender.
  6. Serve piping hot.

Note:

  1. I didn’t peel the ginger but you can do so if you prefer.
  2. You can add some finely chopped spring onion on top if you like.

I chopped the bean curd and vegetables same size in order for them to cook evenly.

Bean Curd and Vegetables for Fat Free Ginger Redolent Broth with Bean Ciurd and Tofu, The Asian Way  Baby Corn for Fat Free Ginger Redolent Broth with Bean Ciurd and Tofu, The Asian Way