Recipes: Tomato Carrot Capsicum Soup

Last weekend, S wanted a light lunch as I was planning to make pizza for dinner. When I probed further, S said he wanted a carrot and tomato soup. So I went online and searched a few sites and then came up with this version. It is a keeper and a winner! It kept well and we finished it the next day.

Tomato Carrot Capsicum Soup

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1-inch piece of  ginger, chopped
  • 2 dried red chillies (optional)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • In a large pan or pressure cooker, heat the oil and when it heats, add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds and let it splutter.
  • When the seeds splutter, add the onions, ginger and garlic and let them brown.
  • When the onions brown, add the carrots and stir for a couple of minutes.
  • Make a small cross at the top of the tomato (where the stalk is) and put the whole tomatoes into the cooker or pan.
  • If using a pressure cooker, cover and cook for 3 whistles. If using a pan, cover and cook until the vegetables are completely cooked.
  • When cool, remove the tomatoes carefully and peel the skin and return it back to the pan.
  • Using a handheld blender, blend the cooked vegetables to a smooth paste. If you don’t have a handheld blender, then transfer to a normal blender, blend it and return it back to the pan.
  • Heat the pan again and thin it with water as needed. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
  • Serve hot with bread croutons.

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Recipes: Sweet Corn Soup

I’m actually surprised at myself that even though I’ve been cooking for so long, I’ve never made sweet corn soup. The other day, as I was planning our Sunday menu, my dad asked for this soup. I then realised I’ve yet to make this so looked around some sites and came up with my version of sweet corn soup. This recipe has minimal ingredients and I omitted corn paste which is traditionally used to thicken the soup, instead used nuts to thicken the soup. The verdict was very encouraging, everyone loved the soup and went for seconds and thirds and there was none left in the pot at the end of the meal!

Sweet Corn Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups, frozen sweet corn, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and drained
  • 1 handful each of almonds and cashew nuts, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes.
  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Remove the skin of the almonds and keep the nuts aside.
  • Blend 1 cup sweet corn into a smooth paste with 1 cup milk, the soaked almonds and cashew nuts and some water.
  • Finely chop the spring onions and keep the white and green parts separate.
  • Heat a pan and put in the butter and oil.
  • When the butter melts, add the white part of the spring onions and fry till it becomes translucent. Then add salt and pepper and fry for a couple of seconds.
  • Next add in the remaining whole corn kernels and stir for a minute or two.
  • Now pour the blended corn and nut paste into the pan and stir well till it starts bubbling.
  • Add equal quantities of water and milk to thin it and season accordingly.
  • Serve hot garnished with the green portion of the spring onion.

Recipe: Ginger Pepper Rasam

Ginger Pepper Rasam 3

Last week GG caught a bad cold from school and since the children are in the midst of exams, I decided to make this rasam, which can also be eaten as a soup which is filled with the goodness of peppercorns and ginger, both which are very good for getting rid of a cold. I made another version earlier, this version omits tamarind and also slightly different.

This is a fairly easy recipe to make and can finish in under 20 minutes when you have the ingredients ready.

Ginger Pepper Rasam 1Ginger Pepper Rasam

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked tuvar dal
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 red chilli (omit this if you don’t want it too spicy or if you intend to increase the number of peppercorns)
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp jaggery (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper powder (optional)
  • Lemon juice as per taste

Method:

  • In a pan, take 1 tsp ghee and fry the cumin seeds, chana dal, peppercorns, red chilli, ginger and 4-5 curry leaves and fry until the dal changes colour. Remove from the flame and cool down
  • When cool, grind to a smooth paste with the chopped tomatoes and a bit of water.
  • In a pan, heat the water and add to this the cooked tuvar dal, asafoetida, jaggery and salt and bring to a boil.
  • When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the cooked tomato and spice paste and let it cook well. This should take between five to ten minutes.
  • When it starts boiling, the water will reduce. At this point, top up the water and once it starts boiling again, remove from the flame.
  • Add the lemon juice after the rasam has been removed from the flame.
  • In another smaller pan, heat the remaining ghee. When warm, add the mustard seeds and the balance curry leaves and let them pop. Now add the pepper powder (if you are using) and pour this over the rasam.

Drink hot as a soup for a soothing concoction for your throat. This is yum over rice and a dollop of ghee or even as a pick-me-up during cold and rainy days!

Ginger Pepper Rasam 4

Ginger Pepper Rasam 2

 

 

 

 

Recipes: Ginger Pepper Rasam

GG had been on this Hallyu craze recently and wanted to eat Bingsu at a newly opened shop at the food court near our home. I accompanied her and BB. All I did was take a few bites from them but came down with a sore throat almost immediately! My solution was to make a traditional pepper rasam to which I added some ginger, both which are good for throats. You can also have this as a soothing soup when you are sick or when it is cold and rainy outside.

Ginger Pepper Rasam

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Toor dal, washed and cooked till it is soft and mushy
  • 1 small lime sized tamarind, soaked in hot water for 20-30 minutes and then the juice extracted
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2-3 dried red chillies
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp jaggery (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

  • Blend together the peppercorns, dried red chillies, ginger and 1 tsp cumin seeds with 1 tomato into a smooth paste and keep aside.
  • Smoosh the tamarind and drain the water into a pot along with the cooked dal.
  • Chop the other tomato into quarters or eights and drop it into the pan.
  • Boil for a while till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away, around 5-7 minutes.
  • Now add the blended paste along with salt and jaggery and let it boil till the tomatoes are completely cooked. Switch off the gas and start the tempering.
  • In a smaller pan, heat the ghee and when hot, add the mustard and balance cumin seeds. When they pop, add the curry leaves and asafoetida and stir before pouring it into the rasam.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot as an accompaniment to rice or as a soup

Notes:

  1. If you don’t have jaggery, you can use sugar instead or even omit it completely.
  2. If you don’t have tamarind, you can either use 1 tbsp tamarind paste (which you can get at any Indian store) or use lemon juice. If using lemon juice, add it according to taste at the very end, just before serving.
  3. If you are planning to have this as a soup, omit the dal and follow the rest of the recipe.

Recipes: Carrot Sweet Potato Soup

Carrot Sweet Corn Soup 2

Last week faced with an almost bare fridge and a family who didn’t want the usual lunch options, I was confused about making lunch. Then I remembered some organic fusilli that S had bought some time back and decided to make a simple Pasta salad. To go with that, I decided to put together the last bits of carrots and sweet potatoes I had and made a soup. The soup was a resounding success. BB loved it so much that he didn’t want dinner, but just had the soup again (this is notable because he does not like carrots nor sweet potatoes!)

Carrot Sweet Corn Soup 1

Carrot Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5-6 pods of garlic
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 4-5 fresh red chilli, chopped
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Water or stock as required
  • Ground pepper (optional)

Method:

  • In a large pan, heat the olive oil and when warm, add the garlic and fry till slightly golden brown. Then add the ginger and red chilli and fry for a few minutes.
  • Add the onions and fry for a while, letting it become translucent.
  • Now add the dry spices – salt, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and fry for a few minutes.
  • Then add the chopped carrots and sweet potatoes and saute till they are completely cooked. If needed, add water as required.
  • Cool completely and blend to fine paste either using an immersion blender or a conventional blender. Pour back into the pan and bring it to a boil.
  • Serve hot with croutons and some freshly ground pepper.

Carrot Sweet Corn Soup 3