Oats Soup

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There are days when you run around with a million things to do with no time for a coffee or a meal and then there are days when things miraculously work out and you finish hours worth of work in minutes and actually have time to sit back and relax. When you chance upon such a day, I suggest you make this ridiculously easy oats soup and put up your feet with a book or watch the birds go by.

This is, again, like some of the other soups in this series, adding a pinch of this and a dash of that and transforming a simple daily affair to food for the soul. To be honest, I am not a fan of oatmeal and eat oats only when I bake something with it. But this soup is definitely becoming a staple at my home. Do try especially if you like the flavour of garlic –

Serves 2 (or just a greedy me)

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Olive oil                         2 tsp

Garlic cloves                2-3

Ginger                            1″

Onion, small                1

Carrot, small                1

Quick cooking oats     1/3 cup

Water                              1 cup

Milk                                 1 cup

Salt & Pepper

Coriander leaves          for garnish

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat the oil. Chop the ginger and garlic finely and add to the oil
  • Once the garlic starts browning, finely chop and add the onions
  • After the onions turn translucent, add finely chopped carrot
  • Stir for 1-2 minutes on simmer and add oats
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes and then add water
  • Cover and cook for a minute
  • The oats should be cooked. If needed add 1/4 cup water
  • Add milk, salt and pepper and mix well
  • Turn off the heat after 1 minute
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot
  • If it is kept for longer time, the soup tends to thicken. Add water or milk to dilute it to soup consistency
  • Enjoy!

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This post is for the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68


Spinach Soup

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I am actually surprised that I could do over 15 soups before I came to spinach. Spinach is an integral part of many mixed veg soups which I have been postponing because I never went to the store in time to get fresh spinach. In the evenings, they would look so worn out and sad, that I would postpone my purchase for the next day and on it would go. Finally I bought some fresh spinach today and set out to fulfill the near certain mandatory soup in a soup marathon.

I was anemic for a brief period during my teenage. But my over cautious mom fed me so much spinach that dad teased me about having green blood. Then when I finally got my ‘over the minimum limit’ hemoglobin report, I rebelled and stopped eating spinach for a long time. Most of my spinach consumption was soup and hence this post is for my mother who takes all the credit for me never being anemic again.

Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Spinach                                 1 bunch

Olive oil                                 1 tbsp

Onion, large                         1

Garlic cloves                        2-3

Gram flour                           1 tbsp

Water                                    2 cups

Cumin seeds, roasted       1 tsp

Salt & Pepper

Fresh cream (optional)   to garnish

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Remove the stems, wash the spinach leaves thoroughly and chop them
  • Heat oil. Chop and add the garlic and onion and saute till onion becomes translucent
  • Add the spinach leaves, salt and pepper. Saute for a minute
  • Add water and let it come to a boil
  • Simmer for 5 minutes
  • Take off the heat, add cumin seeds and let it cool
  • Once sufficiently cooled, blend the mixture to a smooth puree
  • Return it to the pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes
  • Take off the heat and garnish with cream
  • Serve hot
  • Enjoy!

 

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This is my post for the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Pudina Shorba

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Mint or Pudina is a flavour I like to add to whatever dishes I can. Mint, be it fresh or dried, has a strong flavour and makes its presence felt beautifully even when added in small quantities. My go-to recipes for a fresh bunch of mint leaves is either mint rice or raita. So an almost desperate need was felt to expand my repertoire of mint recipes and what better than to include a soup. I always assumed that a mint soup should be a cold one but this pudina shorba is a warm soup and delightful one at that. It takes off from where the raita ends and with some additional ingredients and flavours makes it a real treat to enjoy. So here goes –

Serves 3

Recipe adapted from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Curds                          1 1/2 cups

Gram flour                1 tbsp

Mint leaves               small bunch

Green chillies           2

Black peppercorns   8

Cumin seeds              1 tsp

Ginger                           1″

Fresh cream               1/3 cup

Salt

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the curds and gram flour. Add a cup of water and whisk well so that no lumps are formed
  • Wash and chop the mint leaves, green chillies and ginger
  • Powder the peppercorns. Roast the cumin seeds
  • Blend the mint leaves, chillies, ginger and cumin seeds to a coarse mixture
  • Heat the curd mixture and once it is warm add the mint mixture, salt and crushed peppercorns
  • Add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Take it off the heat and add the fresh cream
  • Serve hot
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Apple and Almond Soup

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I am not a huge fan of cooking fruits preferring to have them raw as they are supposed to be. But sometimes exceptions need to be made, especially when you have a beautiful symphony of apples with tomatoes, gooseberry and carrots topped generously with almonds. Exception accepted.

I had a couple of apples sitting on the counter top for 4 days without the daughter or me going anywhere near it. Usually it is the husband who cores and slices the apples for us. With him travelling, I kept postponing it till such time the apple threatened to decay. With me in a soup daily, I figured I could soup the apples without too much effort. Voila! I must admit I was surprised at how tasty and flavorful the soup turned out. Do try it –

Serves 3

Recipe adapted from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Apples                          2

Gooseberry                 2

Tomato, medium      1

Carrot, medium        1

Cinnamon                  1/2 tsp

Sugar                            1 tsp

Fresh cream               1/4 cup

Almonds                      8

Salt

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Blanch the almonds and peel the skin
  • Cut 4 of the almonds into slivers and set aside
  • Core and cut the apples into quarters
  • Cut the tomatoes and gooseberries.
  • Peel and cut the carrots
  • Take all the above in a vessel and pressure cook with 1 1/2 cups of water for 4 whistles
  • Once the steam escapes, take them out and cool
  • Once cooled, blend them along with 4 almonds to a smooth puree
  • Take the puree in a saucepan and add 1 cup water
  • Simmer for 10 minutes
  • Add sugar, salt, cinnamon and fresh cream and simmer for 1-2 minutes
  • Garnish with almond slivers
  • Enjoy!

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Beetroot Soup

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We can’t have a soup theme and not make beetroot soup. I was contemplating the popular Borscht Soup but due to many reasons (mostly laziness) I decided against it, at least for now. I love to eat beetroot but making it not my favorite task. It gets its colour all over my kitchen which sports a bloodied look after any beetroot dish attempt. I spend more time cleaning than actually cooking. But a beet is a beet is a beet and it simply has to be made. The rich, smooth soup is irresistible to say the least.

Luckily, I chanced upon this recipe which neither requires grating nor dicing the beet. It needs to be pressure cooked as a whole and then peeled and blended. Easy, right? Technically, this is beetroot puree plus white sauce but practically it is a creamy, flavourful broth that should not be missed. So here goes –

Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Beetroot, medium               2

Butter                                      1 tbsp

All purpose flour                  1 tbsp

Milk                                          1/2 cup

Water

Cream                                       1 tbsp

Salt & Pepper

WHAT TO DO

  • Pressure cook the beetroot for 5 whistles
  • Once the steam has completely escaped, open the cooker, peel the beetroot and cut them into small cubes.
  • Blend the beetroots with a little water to a smooth consistency
  • In a pan, add butter with the heat on simmer and once the butter melts add the flour
  • Whisk the two continously to form sand like consistency
  • Add the milk and beetroot puree and whisk well to avoid any lumps
  • Simmer for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the salt and pepper and simmer for another 2-3 minutes
  • Turn off the heat
  • Garnish with cream and serve hot
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Pea & Mint Soup

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I have missed my peas terribly. Fresh peas were never available in Malaysia and I have a grudge against frozen ones. Don’t ask me why. It is a grudge, it is not supposed to be based on cold logic and reasonable arguments. Since they are my favorite and I could not have them for the longest time, I have been buying peas in Bangalore almost daily and adding it to every dish I make. The latest in that list is this peas and mint soup which captures the peas flavour beautifully while enhancing it with the freshness of mint and tangy-ness of the lemon.

Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Spring onion                    1 bunch

Potato, medium              1

Garlic clove                      1

Vegetable stock               500 ml

Shelled peas                     120 gms

Mint leaves, chopped    4 tbsp

Sugar                                   1 tsp

Lemon juice                      1 tbsp

Buttermilk                        2-3 tbsp

Salt & Pepper

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Chop the spring onions. Peel and dice the potato and garlic.
  • Add them along with the vegetable stock to a large saucepan
  • Let it come to a boil and then simmer for 10-12 minutes or till the potatoes are completely cooked
  • Set aside few peas for garnish. Add the rest to the saucepan
  • Simmer for 4-5 minutes. Any more time can take away the vibrant green of the peas
  • Add mint leaves, lemon juice and sugar and mix well
  • Let cool slightly and then blend into a smooth puree
  • Stir in 2 tbsp buttermilk and add salt & pepper
  • Put it back on the gas on simmer. Heat it without getting it to boil else the buttermilk will curdle.
  • Cook the peas set aside for garnish for 5 minutes in hot water
  • Serve hot garnished with the peas and balance buttermilk
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Bottle Gourd Soup

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I was never a huge fan of bottle gourd for most of my life and I didn’t know any recipes for this vegetable except halwa (which was yummmm) and kofta which I have never tried because when I wanted a kofta it was usually the one with malai. Then I discovered this bottle gourd juice and I was hooked.

Couple of days ago, I was staring at my fridge wondering which vegetable could be converted to soup, that I chanced upon this bottle gourd and a pretty quick recipe. The result was quite successful because it was tasty, healthy and most importantly made you feel full without the need for reaching out to a not so healthy snack after. It is a must try.

Serves 3-4

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Bottle gourd, medium                       1

Onions, medium                                 2

Garlic cloves, small                            4-5

Olive oil                                                  1 tbsp

Cream                                                     2-3 tbsp

Salt & Pepper

WHAT TO DO

  • Peel and cut the bottle gourd to small chunks
  • Peel and cut the onions and garlic
  • In a large vessel, add all three and water just enough to cover them
  • Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or till the bottle gourd is completely cooked
  • Cool and blend them into a smooth puree
  • Heat oil in a saucepan and add the puree
  • Add water to get the desired consistency
  • Once it comes to a boil, add salt and pepper and mix well
  • Simmer for 5 minutes
  • Turn off the heat and add the cream. Mix well
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Chunky Vegetable Soup


I am writing this post from inside a box. The house is full of them and there are stuff all around. The daughter finds it highly amusing and is jumping in and out of the boxes and falling into piles of clothes. I have 50 boxes and I am just half way through and most of the storage space seems full. I have to get creative with storage and also throw some stuff out, much as I don’t want to.

Something like this soup. I kind of threw most vegetables I found in the fridge into the saucepan and voila, souped it! This is not my usual kind of soup – the smooth, slurp-y blended type. It is simply lot of vegetable in broth seasoned with vinegar and soy sauce but it is delicious not to mention easy, if you find chopping vegetables therapeutic.

Serves 3

Recipe adapted from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Paneer                          100 gms

Olive oil                        1-2 tsp

Mixed vegetables*     1 1/4 cup

Vegetable Stock         2 cups

Vinegar                          2 tsp

Soy sauce                       1/2 tsp

Cornflour paste of 1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp of water

Salt

*I used carrot, cabbage, mushroom, capsicum and spring onions finely chopped

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat oil and fry the paneer for 4-5 minutes on low flame. Set aside
  • In a large saucepan, combine the finely chopped vegetables and vegetable stock and allow it to come to a boil
  • Simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes or till the vegetables are crisp tender
  • Add the paneer and vinegar and get it to boiling point again
  • Add the cornflour paste slowly while constantly stirring the soup till the soup thickens
  • Take it off the heat and add the soy sauce
  • Enjoy!

This is my post for the September Cooking Carnival under the theme – Soups

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Tomato Soup


There are days when one craves for the simple, the easy and the yummy, all of which is brought together in a classic tomato soup. In my pre-blogging avatar (which wasn’t too long ago) my recipe for tomato soup was to take off the skin, puree the tomatoes and heat it with some salt and pepper and add croutons, if I was in the mood. I have definitely grown from that and this is already my third tomato soup recipe on the blog. One pat on the back seems deserving, right?

The husband is travelling and the daughter and I are living in a house of boxes. Our shipment has arrived and the unpacking seems to be a never ending process. So this simple soup, which the daughter and I had for dinner today with some bread was filling and easy to make after a tiring day. So here goes –

Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Tomatoes, medium                       5-6

Water enough to soak the tomatoes completely

Olive oil                                           2 tsp

Garlic                                                2 cloves

Onion, medium                             1

Cream / Milk (optional)              3 tbsp

Water                                                1/2 cup + 2 tbsp

Cornflour                                         1 tsp

Salt & Pepper

Bread slice                                       1

Butter to toast the bread slice

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Take enough water to soak all the tomatoes in a large vessel. Add salt and let it come to a boil
  • Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes to it. Cover the vessel and set aside for 30 minutes
  • Take out the tomatoes from the water and de-skin them
  • Deseed the tomatoes, chop them roughly and add them to a blender
  • Blend to form a smooth puree
  • Heat oil in a saucepan
  • Chop the garlic and onion finely and add to the oil
  • Once the onion is translucent, add the tomato puree and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil
  • Simmer the heat and add the milk / cream and let it cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Mix the cornflour in 2 tbsp water and add to the saucepan
  • Simmer for 2-3 minutes or till the soup thickens
  • Add salt and pepper and mix well
  • Turn off the heat
  • Cut a bread slice into smaller pieces and toast them on a tava till they are fairly crisp
  • Add the croutons (toasted bread pieces) to the soup before serving
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my post for the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Cucumber Soup

Does it ever happen to you that you want something out of context, something no one else would want in a particular situation? The exception is wanting to watch TV or play the day before exams. That everyone wants. But suddenly, I was hit with this craving for cold soup at this time of the year in Bangalore. The climate here is beautiful now with lovely breeze and a pleasant chill. You know, the kind when it is chilly but you don’t need a sweater? That amazing kind. It is also completely possible that I am exaggerating this because I have just returned after staying on the sun or Malaysia, as it is popularly known.

So here I was, enjoying my warm soups snuggling with my daughter and then one fine day i.e. yesterday I wanted or rather craved cold soup. Just like that. Luckily I had a cucumber and an old bookmarked recipe for the cold soup in hand and off I went to the kitchen. Needless to say, the melange of flavours in this soup is so amazing. There is yogurt and garlic and whoever thought of adding lemon to cucumber is a genius! So here goes –

Serves 2 ( or as you can see by the size of that cup, just me)

Recipe adapted from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Cucumber, large                  1

Curd / yougurt                      3/4 cup

Spring onions                      2 tbsp

Garlic                                      2 cloves

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt & pepper

WHAT TO DO

  • Peel the cucumber and dice into small pieces
  • Set aside few pieces for garnish
  • Add the cucumber pieces, yougurt, lemon juice and garlic cloves to a blender and blend until smooth
  • Add the spring onion, salt and pepper and blend again
  • Add more lemon juice if you like
  • Chill until ready to serve
  • Serve with a sprig of mint and the diced cucumber pieces
  • Enjoy!

 

This is my post for the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68