Category Archives: Soup

Mediterranean Lentil Soup with Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown lentil (whole), washed, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 onions, sliced
  • 3-4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon cumin seed powder (preferably, freshly roasted and then ground)
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Method:

  1. Put InstantPot on saute mode
  2. Add oil to the pan
  3. Once oil is hot, add onion and saute for a couple of minutes
  4. Add carrots and celery and saute for a couple of minutes
  5. Add garlic, salt and ground cumin and saute for a couple of minutes
  6. Add lentil and tomatoes and saute for a couple of minutes
  7. Add 3 cups of water, cover the cooker and switch InstantPot to rice mode (10 minutes cooking time)
  8. Once the soup is ready, add chopped spinach and serve hot with pita bread or any hearty bread

Servers: 4

Inspiration source:

This is an attempt to reproduce awesome lentil soup we had at Zaytouna Mediterranean Grill in Freehold Township, New Jersey

Remarks:

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Lemongrass Soup

Lemongrass Soup

Lemongrass Soup

Ingredients:

  • Peanut oil – 2 Tbs
  • Onion – 1 large
  • Lemongrass – 3 Tbs, chopped into ¼ inch-thick pieces
  • Garlic – 3 cloves, minced
  • Ginger – 1 Tbs, minced
  • Sweet potatoes / Yam / Rutabaga or any such root vegetable or assortment of such root vegetables – 3 cups, peeled and cut in ½ inch pieces
  • Soy sauce – 3 Tbs
  • Brussels sprouts / mushrooms – 3 cups, halved / quartered
  • Red bell pepper – 1 large, cut into 1-inch strips
  • Cilantro leaves – 1 cup, chopped
  • Lime juice – 2 Tbs

Method:

  1. Cook (steam / grill / sauté) the root vegetable and keep aside
  2. Heat 1 Tbs oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Saute Brussels sprout / mushrooms for 5 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add bell pepper and sauté for 3 minutes, or until soft and then keep aside
  3. Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large pot over medium – high heat. Add onion and sauté for about 7 minutes, until it becomes brown
  4. Stir in lemongrass, garlic and ginger and sauté for 2-3 minutes
  5. Add soy sauce, 5 cups water and bring to boil
  6. Stir cooked root vegetables, Brussels sprout / mushrooms, bell peppers, cilantro and lime juice into the soup. Season with salt and pepper

Servers: 6

Inspiration source:

October 2007 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine

Leek and Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 big fat leek or 2 slightly slimmer ones or 2 bunch green onions
  • 3-4 small-medium new potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cube of vegetable bouillon + 3 cups water or 3 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt to taste (note that bouillon / broth may bring its own salt)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup full-cream milk

Method:

  1. Thoroughly wash leek / spring onions
  2. Chop leek / spring onions, about 3/4 inch pieces
  3. Scrub wash potatoes to remove all the soil from the potato skin
  4. Chop the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes
  5. Heat the oil in a heavy pot and saute onions and potatoes for a few minutes
  6. Add the vegetable bouillon + 3 cups water or 3 cups vegetable broth, salt, pepper and bring to boil
  7. Cover the pot and simmer it on medium heat for 25-30 minutes till potatoes the completely cooked
  8. Mash with potato masher
  9. Add milk, bring to boil and then take it off heat
  10. Serve with your favorite bread

Servers: 4

Kadhi (Indian yogurt curry)

Yogurt Curry

Yogurt Curry

Ingredients:

  • Yogurt, 1 cup
  • Sugar, 1 tsp
  • Ginger, 1 tsp, grated
  • 1 green chili, slit and cut in 4 pieces
  • Curry leaves, 5-6 leaves
  • Besan / chickpea flour, 1 tbsp

For tempering

  • Ghee (purified butter), 1 tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds, ¼ tsp
  • Mustard seeds, 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
  • Asafetida, ¼ tsp

Method:

  1. Churn 1 cup yogurt with 2 cups water to make buttermilk
  2. In a small cup, mix the chickpea flour with 2 tbsp water to make thick paste
  3. Add the chickpea paste, chili, ginger, curry leaves, salt and sugar in the buttermilk and put it on stovetop
  4. Bring the spiced butter milk to boil, while regularly stirring it
  5. Boiling the butter milk cooks the chickpea flour. Put it aside once boiled
  6. In a small saucepan, heat the ghee
  7. Once ghee is hot, add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds
  8. Once most of the seeds have popped, add asafetida and gently stir to make sure asafetida turns very lightly brown and then immediately add the tempering to the spiced buttermilk
  9. Serve this kadhi hot with other Indian dry curry and Indian roti / chapatti

Servers: 6

Remarks:

This is a very common curry / soup in the state of Gujarat, India

Kabocha Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds kabocha squash or any other winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot
  2. Sauté onions in the oil for 4-5 minutes
  3. Add garlic, paprika and bay leaf and cook for 1 minute
  4. Add sherry and cook for another minute
  5. Add squash, vegetable broth and 1 cup water and cook the squash for about 20 minutes
  6. Remove the pot from heat, remove the bay leaf and let it cool
  7. Puree soup in food processor until smooth
  8. In a small pan, heat 1 tbsp oil
  9. Add pine nuts and salt and fry / roast the nuts till they are light brown in color
  10. Add agave nectar or maple syrup and heat it on low heat for 5-7 minutes till the syrup gets thick in consistency, constantly stirring to make sure it doesn’t get burnt
  11. Serve the soup hot in a bowl with a spool-full of pine nuts in sweet syrup

Servers: 6

Inspiration source:

Vegetarian Times, January 2009, page 44

Moong Dal and Spinach Soup

Moong Dal and Spinach Soup

Ingredients:

To be ground into smooth paste

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 green chilies
  • 25 mm (1”) piece of ginger

Other Ingredients

  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5-6 cardamom
  • 3-4 dry red chilies
  • 3 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Clean and wash the dal. Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles or till done. Keep aside to cool
  2. Grind garlic, ginger and chilies into fine paste and keep aside
  3. Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the cumin seeds, cardamoms and red chilies
  4. When the seeds crackle, add the paste and saute for a couple of minutes
  5. Add spinach, turmeric powder and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes
  6. Add cooked dal, 1 cup water and bring to boil
  7. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes
  8. Stir in the lime juice and simmer for a couple of minutes stirring occasionally
  9. Serve hot with rice

Servers: 2

Roasted Bell Pepper Artichoke Bisque

Roasted Bell Pepper Artichoke Bisque

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 vegetable instant bouillons
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt, if necessary as the vegetable bouillons will provide all the needed saltiness
  • 1/2 stick (2 ounces) butter
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  •  4 red bell pepper roasted and skinned and seeded
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup full cream milk
  • 1 cup dry sherry / sherry cooking wine
  • 8 ounces marinated artichokes, finely chopped
  • Shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese (optional)

Method:

  1. Puree roasted red bell pepper and keep aside
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil
  3. Saute onions, celery, carrots and garlic in the oil for 2-3 minutes, till soft
  4. Add vegetable bouillon, thyme, black pepper and cayenne pepper and saute for another 2-3 minutes
  5. Add butter and melt. Stir in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan
  6. Add water, red bell pepper puree, stir well and bring to boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer on medium / low heat for 15 minutes, stirring as necessary
  7. Stir in milk, sherry and artichoke and heat for 5-10 minutes
  8. Garnish with your favorite cheese and serve with warm hearty bread

Servers: 6

Inspiration source: Home Cooking The Costco Way, page 70

Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 small celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium leek, sliced (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or use water)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1
  • 1/2 cups half and half (for lower fat, use low fat milk, fat free sour cream)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (or use honey or may skip it if potatoes are plenty sweet)
  • The leafy tops of the celery stalks, chopped (can use cilantro or other favorite herb)

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add chopped celery stalks and leek, sauté about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes
  2. Add sweet potatoes, broth, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes
  3. Remove cinnamon stick and discard. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot
  4. Add half and half and maple syrup and stir over medium-low heat to heat through. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper
  5. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with celery leaves and serve with some hearty bread

Servers: 6 – 8

Inspiration source: Bon Appetit magazine

Remarks:

Lemongrass Coconut Soup / Tom Yum Soup

Tom Yum soup

Ingredients:

For the stock

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 green chilies slit
  • 1 small piece ginger, sliced
  • 1 lemon grass stalk, chopped
  • 1 small onion, sliced

Other ingredients

  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 cup spring onion greens, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetarian Tom Yum paste (available at most Asian grocery stores)
  • salt to taste

To serve

  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped
  • lemon wedges to serve

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the stock in a pot and bring to a boil
  2. Simmer for 20-30 minutes and strain. Discard the flavoring ingredients
  3. Return to the pot and add the mushrooms, carrots, spring onions greens and salt
  4. Stir the Tom Yum paste and bring to boil
  5. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves and lemon wedges

Servers: 4

Inspiration source:

http://www.tarladalal.com/recipe.asp?id=4988&MailerId=236&RecipientId=276620

Minestrone Soup

MinestroneSoupIngredients:

For soup:

  • Vegetables – Onions, potatoes, celery, carrots, broccoli and zucchini – 1 cup each, cut in small / medium size cubes
  • Tomato – 1 large, chopped
  • Olive oil – 1 Tbs
  • Vegetable broth – 3 cups
  • Beans, Cannellini (creamy white Italian beans), cooked, 1 cup
  • Oregano – ½ Tsp
  • Basil – ½ Tsp
  • Thyme – ¼ Tsp
  • Black pepper – ¼ Tsp
  • Salt to taste

For pesto:

  • Basil – Sweet (Italian), 1 cup
  • Garlic – 2 large cloves
  • Olive oil – 2 Tbs
  • Pine nuts – 2 Tbs
  • Cheese – Parmesan, grated, 2 Tbs
  • Salt to taste

For crotons:

  • Any hearty bread (I used whole grain loaf from La Brea Bakery, available at Costco in their bakery section)
  • Olive oil – 1 Tbs
  • Salt to taste

Method:

Soup

  1. Heat the oil in a deep pan
  2. Add vegetables (not tomatoes) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly
  3. Add vegetable broth, cooked beans and spices (oregano, basil, thyme, pepper) and cook for 20-25 minutes, till all the vegetables are cooked tender
  4. Add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes
  5. Add salt, based on the salt-level in the broth
  6. While serving hot, stir in ½ Tsp of pesto in the soup and top it with crotons

Pesto

Mix all the ingredients in a mixer into a fine paste

Crotons

  1. Cut the bread into ¾ inch cubes
  2. Mix the bread with oil and salt
  3. Bake the bread pieces in an oven at about 350 F for 15 minutes, till it becomes lightly brown

Servers: 4

Remarks:

This hearty soup can have several variations and this one is an attempt to recreate what’s served at Pasta Pomodoro restaurants. Along with whole wheat crotons, it makes a one-dish-meal!

Note that the pesto is an absolutely critical element of this recipe!!