Recipe: Hearty, Healthy Vegetable Soup
Try this wholesome “red” soup which is prepared with the best of season’s vegetables. The soup is the best ever gift you can give your family for it is oil-free, packed with mixed vegetable goodness providing vigour and nourishment and yes, with a dash of love - in the form of Love Apples, which is what tomatoes were referred to as, earlier.
This soup is the right thing to start off the day as a brunch item. Not only does the soup look deliciously red, it is also yum to the core given the nutrition and flavour it draws from its ingredients. The soup has an aromatic flavour that is obtained by the “oil free” tempering of curry leaves and whole spices. It is also a good make-ahead recipe as a huge batch of the puree can be prepared in advance and frozen. Use it as and when the need for something nourishing and good looking arises :-)
- 1 cup bottle gourd / lauki / doodhi, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup tomatoes cut into bite size pieces
- ½ cup beetroot cut into bite size pieces
- ½ cup carrots cut into bite size pieces
- 5-6 cloves of garlic
- 1 green chilli, slit
- 4 – 5 spinach leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds / jeera
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds / rai
- Handful of curry leaves / kadhi patta
- Salt as per taste
- Lemon juice as per taste
- ½ no, chicken or vegetable soup seasoning cube
Step 1: Put bottle gourd, tomatoes, beetroot, carrots and green chilli in a vessel along with 3 cups of water. Boil the vegetables on a medium flame till soft. Partially cover the vegetables while boiling. Do not cover completely as the water will overflow from the vessel on boiling.
Step 2: Once you switch off the gas, put the garlic, green chilli and spinach leaves in the vessel and cover it completely for 10 minutes. The will soften the garlic and spinach leaves while not overcooking them.
Step 3: Cool the vegetables and then puree them in a blender. Make sure to pick out the chilli before pureeing. This puree is very precious, I often use it to make ‘pulao’ or also add it to my gravies for added flavour and nutrition.
Step 4: Pour the puree in a thick bottomed pan; add about 1 to 2 cups of water depending upon the consistency you like for the soup. If you like to use a soup seasoning cube, then add it now. Season the soup with salt and simmer it while you make the tempering.
Step 5: Meanwhile, heat a dry griddle (tawa) on a medium flame. Once hot, dry roast the cumin and mustard seeds till you get their aroma. Next, put the curry leaves and roast them till they curl up and give out a lovely aroma.
Step 6: Immediately transfer the tempering to the soup and mix well. Simmer the soup for another 10 minutes, taste it and adjust seasoning and consistency.
Step 7: The soup tastes good hot as well as cold. Serve as you like it.
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