Tag Archives: soup

Carrot and Coconut Soup

Well, what this really is, is a tomato and carrot soup with packaged coconut milk added in towards the end of the cooking process.

The result is a delicious variation on an otherwise regular sort of vegetable soup in our home.

The girls loved it when I served it for dinner yesterday, so I was glad for the impulse that had made me reach for the pack of coconut milk and pour it in while the soup simmered.

The following quantities made enough soup for two meals for the 4 of us.

2 thin (which is what I had in the fridge yesterday) or 1 thick leek

6-7 large tomatoes

7-8 carrots

3 garlic cloves

4 tablespoons of olive oil

salt to taste

one 200 ml pack of coconut milk

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Clear-out-the-vegetable-basket Soup

I had a small chunk of pumpkin, two carrots, half a red bell pepper, a leek and five and a half tomatoes left over in the fridge from last week’s shopping at Carrefour.

So I have made soup for tonight’s dinner with all of that (and there will be enough left over for tomorrow as well, with these quantities) ,with the addition of fresh basil leaves that I went out and got this morning from the “Primeur de Fruits” in Tournamy.

The method  is the same as for the tomato and basil soup.

Pizza and soup with basil, anyone? That’ll be two “Oh Yay !!!”s for sure.

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Tomato, Pumpkin & Broccoli Soup

When we arrived at our friend Jenny’s home for lunch one Sunday not long ago, I saw that she had made broccoli and Stilton cheese soup to serve as a first course to the parents.

It struck me then that all this time as I have tried to introduce broccoli to my family’s diet – unsuccessfully, as none of us have managed to develop a taste for it -I have never considered adding broccoli to soup. I usually just steam it to add to either salads or pasta and once in desperation even cooked it as a  subzi ( the way one makes cauliflower in India) after I ate it in this form at my sister-in-law’s home.  All those attempts having failed to endear this vegetable to us, I had resigned myself to the fact that this is one healthy vegetable our family would have to do without.

But soup with broccoli seemed like an intriguing new idea so I requested that Jenny serve some to the children too, as I wanted to see if my girls would take to this vegetable better in this form.

As it turned out, the girls didn’t exactly love it. They finished it mainly because I told them it would be impolite not to do so. But, significantly, they did not turn up their noses at it completely either, which encouraged me to think that I could probably get away with blending broccoli in to soup too, camouflaged among other vegetables.

So that is what I have done more than once since that Sunday, and the soup I made for dinner yesterday was the nicest of those recent attempts. The girls actually said that they liked it, until I spoilt it somewhat by telling them, feeling rather smug, that one of the vegetables in the soup was broccoli. Indira immediately started to look like she wasn’t pleased at being duped, and said,  “So that’s what those tiny green bits are !” in a somewhat vexed voice.

But I do believe they’ll eat it readily enough again;  they did like it sufficiently until the moment of truth.

The recipe is much the same as for Indira’s favorite vegetable soup, except that here I replace the red pepper with broccoli.

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Tomato,Pumpkin & Broccoli Soup

1/2 a small head of broccoli

about 200 gms of pumpkin

1 leek

2 pods of garlic

3 medium-sized tomatoes

3 tablespoons of olive oil

salt to taste (I add about 1 and 1/2 tsps)

Separate the broccoli’s florets, then cut these  in to smaller pieces.

Peel and dice the pumpkin.

Wash and chop the tomatoes.

Discard the hard part of the leek, and finely chop the rest, after washing it carefully. Chop the garlic too.

In a pressure-cooker, warm the oil on a low heat and then add the leek and garlic. Sweat these down gently for 4-5 minutes, making sure not to let them  brown or burn.

Next, add the pumpkin and the broccoli, cover the cooker, and cook everything together for some time, turning frequently, till the vegetables start to glisten and look soft. Then add the tomatoes  and cook till the tomatoes start to break down.

Add the salt, about 500ml of water, and pressure-cook the vegetables till they are quite soft.

Blend the mixture, adding some boiled water if the soup seems too thick.

Stir in a  little unrefined brown sugar ( I added about 1 1/2-2 tsps) if the soup tastes too tart on account of the tomatoes.

A little touch of cream in each bowl is nice, too.

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A simple,mild Rasam

This home made answer to what restaurants call mulligatawny soup went down very well with our guests on Saturday.

Rasam

6 medium sized tomatoes( or 1 or 2 more, if you would like a more sour soup)

5 tbsp of arhar daal

½ tsp of grated ginger

½ tsp of mustard seeds

2 tbsp of ghee

½ tsp of turmeric

a pinch of asafetida

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tbsp of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

Soak the daal for 1-2 hours, then pressure cook it till it is very soft.

In a large casserole, warm the ghee, and add the mustard seeds. When these begin to crackle, add the curry leaves and the asafoetida. Fry these for just a few seconds, add the ginger, and fry till for a few seconds till it starts to turn a golden color. Now add the tomatoes and the turmeric, and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the salt and 2 cups of water next, and let the mixture come to a boil. Continue cooking for 7-8 minutes, mix in the daal, and simmer everything together for a further 10-12 minutes or until the soup has acquired the thickness/consistency you’d like. Stir in ½ the coriander and turn the heat off, keeping the rest to add a little to each bowl before you eat.

For a spicier flavour, grind pepper on to each portion. It definitely lifts the taste; gives it a great kick that goes well with the tanginess of the tomatoes.

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Tomato and Basil Soup

We had soup for dinner this evening, because Noor has developed a cold.

I had picked up a large bunch of fresh basil yesterday because I wanted to use some for the soup today; they say this herb is beneficial when one has a cold.

It also, of course, adds the most amazing taste and aroma. Indira sniffed at her bowl as she sat down to eat and said “Ummm…I know, this has basil !!”

With french fries on the side, I had two content little faces at the table

tonight 🙂

Tomato and Basil Soup

3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 medium sized carrots, diced fine (optional)

1 large clove of garlic,roughly chopped

1 large leek, tough part cut off, and chopped fine

3 tbsp olive oil

salt to taste

1/2 of a large bunch of basil leaves, washed thoroughly

In a pressure cooker or a large casserole, warm the olive oil on a low heat and add the leek and garlic. Cover and cook till the leek is soft. Add the carrots if you are using them, cover again and cook for 6-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the salt, and cook till the tomatoes start to break down. Add 2-3 cups of water, and cook everything together till all the vegetables are very soft.

When the contents of the cooker/casserole have cooled a little bit, add the basil leaves and blend everything together. Strain the soup through a sieve. If the soup seems too thick, add some boiled water and then let the soup simmer again for a few minutes.

You could add the basil a little bit at a time while blending the vegetables; this way you could decide how much of its flavor you are happy with.

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Rainy days are here again-Tomato Soup with coconut milk

Today has been one of those lazy days, when I have not wanted to do much of anything.

I was up until quite late last night, working, and managed to finish something that I had set for myself as a target for yesterday. That sort of makes me feel I can take things easier today.

So lunch for Shri and Noor today was just a sandwich (Actually, quite a yummy kind – built up with salad leaves, layered over with slices of tomato and mozzarella cheese, and a slathering of pesto on top, all packed in to a baguette or some nice olive bread that has been sliced through and has had some olive oil sprinkled over the insides), instead of the more effort/time intensive upma or poha that Noor would have liked.

When I opened the fridge to take out the cheese, I noticed that there were only 4 tomatoes left and so on impulse I decided that I’d make soup for dinner, one that uses coconut milk, and use those 4 tomatoes up before I bring a fresh lot tomorrow. Fortunately there is a little bit of the vegetable pasta salad left over from last night’s dinner, and a pizza in the freezer, so the soup will go nicely will all of that.

The rain that the colder weather and winds of the last 2 days presaged has started to come down in earnest during the afternoon, so they are  going to be quite happy to eat soup for dinner, I think, especially since it is one that they like.

Tomato soup with Coconut milk

4 large tomatoes

60 ml of coconut milk

1/2 tsp of grated ginger

2 tsp of sunflower oil

1/2 tsp of cumin seeds

Wash the tomatoes boil the tomatoes (whole) in a saucepan with 200 ml of water till they go quite soft.

After they cool down, take the skins off, and blend the tomatoes. Strain the puree through a sieve.

In another saucepan, warm the oil and add the ginger. Once it starts to turn pink (don’t let it brown/burn), add the cumin seeds, wait till their aroma is released, then add the strained puree. Season with salt, and let the puree boil for 5-7 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, a pinch of sugar if the taste is too sour and keep the mixture on the heat for only another couple of minutes.

Voila ! Doesn’t that seem quite simply done? And it is, really.

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Indira’s favorite Red Bell Pepper,Carrot(or pumpkin or orange sweet potato), and Tomato Soup

This past Sunday, we were eating dinner when Indira said, “can you tell me how you made this soup because I’d like to make it when I am a big girl”.

Well that is what this blog is supposed to be for, I thought so here’s the recipe for this soup, which actually looks quite pretty sitting in it’s bowl since it is a gorgeous red-orange color.

Ingredients: (to serve 4)

1 red bell pepper

3-4 medium sized carrots, or 2 small sweet potatoes, or a about 200 gms of pumpkin

2 small (or 1 large) leeks

2 pods of garlic

3 large tomatoes

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Discard the hard part of the leeks, and chop the rest, after washing it carefully. Chop the garlic too.

In a large casserole/pressure-cooker, warm the oil and then add the leeks and garlic. Sweat these down gently, making sure not to let them brown or burn.

Next, add the red pepper and sweet potato or carrots (all chopped in to fairly small pieces) to the leeks and garlic mixture, and cook together for 10-12 minutes, turning frequently, till the vegetables start to really glisten and look soft. Then add the tomatoes (chopped), salt, and cook till the tomatoes start to break down.

Now add about half a liter of water, and then pressure-cook the vegetables so that they cook down thoroughly.

Blend the vegetables after waiting for them to cool down a bit, and then strain the mixture through a sieve to discard the seeds/skin etc.

Voila, le soup !

You could add a little bit of milk  to the soup before serving it, to give it a nice creamy taste.

Do add some black pepper too; this aids with digestion (this is one of my mom’s fundas; may or may not be true but I play safe and grind some in to each bowl).

This is a real hearty filler; all you need to make it a complete meal is a loaf of some wholesome bread, and scrambled eggs or grilled fish on the side if you like. Our preferred accompaniment is a loaf of corn bread; I will post that recipe as well, one of these days, should Indira want to make her own bread too !!

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A Taste of Provence- Vegetable Soup with Pistou

This morning, I was standing in front of the refrigerator, wondering which vegetable to “sort” for the day.

(Note – “Sort” does not mean “to sort out”. It means “to take out”. This is how living in France for 9 years has ruined my English, without making my French fluent. For some years now, I have found myself often thinking in a  melange of the two languages. Oh well…)

I wanted to cook dinner during the morning, since later this afternoon I had to go first to Noor’s playschool for the end of year “spectacle” (I can no longer instantly recall the equivalent word in English ), then to Indira’s to help at one of the games’ booths, part of their end of the year show. And I knew that there would be almost instant demands for dinner on getting back home at around 7pm.

I also wanted to achieve two other objectives – cook something simple, since I wanted to spend some part of the morning cooking ahead for a dinner at our place tomorrow evening, to which we have invited 3 families.

And I wanted to make sure the girls got a good portion of vegetables tonight, since I know from past experience that at these school fetes (hey !! that’s the word, isn’t it !) what they typically enjoy eating is barbecued/grilled sausages,cake, and les frites(french fries).

Luckily I saw that I had everything I needed for my variation of  a very flavorful provencal vegetable soup called soupe au pistou, so this is what I made today.

The pistou (available bottled though the fresh paste – made by crushing fresh basil,olive oil, and garlic- is better) is optional, though of course this paste is what the soup derives its name from. My daughters certainly prefer it with a little pistou or pesto -the Italian version of pistou, this paste has pine nuts and parmesan cheese added to the other ingredients – stirred in.

But either way it is full of flavor, light, and wholesome.

Vegetable Soup with Pistou

(Enough for 6-8 adults)

Two leeks, tough portions chopped off

I medium sized courgette(you can substitute green beans,chopped in to half inch pieces, for courgette)

2 small turnips

4-5 tbsp of olive oil

4 carrots

4 tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

100 gms of vermicelli or any other small wholewheat pasta shape(optional)

1. Remove the tough outer layers of the leeks, and then chop them fine.

2. Peel and chop the carrots in to thin half moons

3. Peel and dice the turnip.

4. Was the courgette thoroughly and dice it without peeling it. This adds to the color of the soup plus I tend to think this keeps more of the nutrition in.

5. Chop the tomotoes into chunks that are neither too large nor too small.

6. Warm the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan, then sweat the leeks and the garlic on a low heat, taking care not to let either brown at all. After 5 minutes, add the carrots and the turnip, and cook together with the leeks and garlic mixture for about 15 minutes (keep the pan covered so that the vegetables soften in the steam) making sure to stir regularly so that the vegetables don’t burn. If you are using beans instead of curgette, you should add those with the carrots and turnips.

Next,add the courgette and cook everything together again for 5-10 minutes, till the courgette starts to soften. In the meanwhile, boil  approx 1 litre of water in the kettle.

Now add the tomatoes, cook everything in the pan together for 5 minutes, season with salt and black pepper, add the boiled water, put the lid on again, and leave the whole mixture to cook till the vegetables are as soft as you’d like them – 30 minutes to 1 hour. if you want to add pasta to this soup,  add it 10-15 minutes before you are ready to take the soup off the heat, so that it is cooked by the time the soup is done.

This soup develops more flavor if it’s left to sit, after it’s been cooked. That’s another reason I like to cook it ahead.

When everyone is ready to eat, serve some pistou or pesto on the side. Just 1/2 a teaspoon-add more if you like – really adds to this soup’s appeal for a lot of people – and indeed this is the classical way it is eaten in Provence. But I personally enjoy this soup without either paste added to it, since the soup already has a wonderful, delicate taste of it’s own, due to all the vegetables.

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