April 9, 2012 in Recipes, Soups
A three ingredient surprise…
I have never had an asparagus, leek and peas soup. So I had no idea how this was going to turn out. And the reason I came up with it was because I bought leeks the other day and wanted to use it in a soup but then landed up using up the other ingredients which were to be part of the soup for other dishes… So now I was left with the leeks and no soup. I decided to make roast some asparagus for lunch and had the ends (the thick not roastable parts) on my cutting board. This time I decided not to throw it out, instead decided look up recipes which would actually allow me to use the ends as well. That’s how I landed up at one of my favorite blogs: What’s for lunch honey. And Meeta had a wonderful looking soup she had there with asparagus ends. I modified the recipe (http://www.whatsforlunchhoney.net/2006/05/creamed-asparagus-and-leek-soup.html) to create one of my own. And this soup is creamy, surprisingly so! It takes hardly any active time of yours. I just steamed the asparagus ends in a rice cooker with the steamer. And then once it was all softened, i just tossed the ends along with the peas into the same water and let it boil for sometime and I did not have to keep an eye on it. So here’s the recipe and it serves about 2-3 persons.
- 1 bunch asparagus ends
- 1 cup chopped leeks (the light green and white parts only)
- 1 cup frozen peas (or fresh)
- 1/2 tsp butter
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp yogurt per bowl of soup
- Steam the asparagus ends using about 3 cups of water for about 15-20 mins.
- Next toss the ends and the peas into the same water and let it simmer for another 15 mins.
- In the meanwhile heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan and add the leeks to it. Saute the leeks till it is browned slightly. This took about 15 mins.
- Now transfer the asparagus, peas and water to the saucepan and let the ingredients simmer for 5 mins.
- Now transfer this to a blender and blend it.
- Next use a strainer to strain out the soup and place the soup back on the stovetop.
- Now add the red chili powder, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Transfer the soup to serving bowls and top with yogurt.
- Serve hot with some croutons (I did not use the croutons).
I loved the soup. It was delicious and amazingly so given the fact that I had put just salt and pepper to it and no other added ingredients. You could add some vegetable stock to this to enhance the taste even further. But I loved it just the way it is. This is going to be a permanent feature on my menu at home now, as both Amit and I love asparagus and now we can use the ends too. Thanks for stopping by at my blog and hope you enjoy this soup as much as I did.
October 24, 2010 in Mushroom, Soups
Mushroom Soup for a dear friend…
I am so totally into making soups nowadays. And I remembered one of my friend’s (Chinka) saying that mushroom soup is one of her all time favorite soups. And I love cream of mushroom soup too. So I decided to try out one of the recipes I found online. I modified it a little to reduce the amount of calories and fat. This recipe takes about 45 minutes to an hour to prepare. You can substitute the home-made vegetable stock with store-bought vegetable stock. This would reduce the amount of time required by about half hour.
- 10 ounces mushrooms (cleaned and chopped into small pieces)
- 5-6 ounces dried porcini / cremini mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 chopped potato
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 sprig fresh/dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
- 2 cups chopped leeks (white and light green parts)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup fresh parley (chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- salt to taste
- Steps 1 – give directions on how to make the vegetable stock. You can replace this with store bought vegetable stock, if you are in a hurry.
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and add the onions to the saucepan. Fry the onions for a couple of minutes. Then add the porcini / cremini mushrooms, potato, the sprig of thyme, salt and pepper along with 2 cups of water.
- Cover and cook till the vegetables are soft.
- Now add another 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Let it simmer (covered) for about 30 minutes.
- Strain the stock from the vegetables and you should get about 4 – 41/2 cups of stock. If not add some water to the vegetables and strain till desired quantity is reached.
- Heat the remaining olive oil and butter in another pan and add the chopped leeks.
- Cook the leeks for about 10-12 minutes on low flame or till the leeks turn slightly brown.
- Now add the chopped mushrooms to the leeks and let it cook till they brown and are cooked throughly.
- Next add the flour and stir the mixture for a couple of minutes.
- Add the white wine and mix the ingredients making sure that any vegetables or flour stuck to the pan is removed.
- Now add the vegetable stock, minced thyme leaves, pepper and salt to taste and stir till the flour is completely mixed without leaving any chunks.
- Simmer the soup for about 10 – 15 minutes.
- Add the cream, milk and fresh parsley and heat throughly (do not boil).
- Serve hot with a salad, breadsticks or just the soup.
The above amounts result in 4-5 servings. This is a less creamy soup because I was looking for a healthier version of the cream of mushroom soup. The soup tastes awesome and if you are in a hurry you can make it with the vegetable stock (you may want to soak the porcini mushrooms in hot water for about 15 minutes and add this water along with the vegetable soup). It is a pretty quick and easy to make soup. I made the stock the previous night and had a nice hot soup ready in about half hr on the next day. The original recipe can be found at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/cream-of-wild-mushroom-soup-recipe/index.html. I have made a few changes to the recipe to suit my taste. Hope you enjoy my version of the mushroom soup.
October 12, 2010 in Carrot, Recipes, Soups
A Healthy and Wholesome soup…
After the not so healthy but awesome chicken wings last night, we needed something a little lighter for our dinner tonight. Our stomachs were definitely ready for a hearty and healthy soup. So this is what I came up with. A carrot soup with some fresh coriander and parsley. I am not a very big fan of large chunks of vegetables in my soup. I love my creamy soups. Since I wanted to use only vegetables in the soup and also make it creamy, I decided to use potatoes. This recipe serves 4 persons.
- 4 medium carrots, cut into chunks
- 2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups vegetable / chicken stock
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley
- 1/2 freshly chopped coriander
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan.
- Fry the bay leaf till it turns a light brown.
- Add the garlic and onion and fry till it softens.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook 3-5 minutes.
- Add 3 cups of water and the chopped carrots and potato into the saucepan.
- Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are almost tender.
- Add the parsley, coriander and the chicken / vegetable stock and simmer till the vegetables are cooked completely.
- Discard the bay leaf and puree the soup in a blender.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with some sour cream, cream and croutons.
This recipe takes about 45 minutes from start to finish. I heat the soup just before serving as I cool it a little before pureeing it. I usually serve the soup with salad. Next time I am going to try making some bread-sticks to go with the soup and salad. Hope you enjoy this soup.
October 5, 2010 in Recipes, Soups
Amit (my husband) was down with a cold the other day and he so wanted to have some soup. So instead of buying the sodium loaded soups at the grocery store, I decided to try making some homemade soup. After a lot of ”you decide, no you”, we agreed on tomato soup. I then found this recipe online for tomato soup with roasted red pepper and fresh basil. The recipe just looked interesting and easy to make. And I can vouch for the fact that it was delicious too. I did make some modifications to the original recipe.
The quantities listed below will serve 3 persons if you are serving just the soup and a salad. We decided to go healthy that night and have a salad and soup for dinner.
- Crushed tomato (15 ounces)
- 1 Red Pepper
- 2 teaspoons white cooking wine
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup fresh basil (chopped)
For the basil cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Slice the red pepper into 1 inch thin slices (slivers).
- Mix the white cooking wine and oregano with the red pepper and set aside.
- In the meanwhile chop the garlic cloves and onion.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a saucepan and add the marinated red pepper.
- Roast the red pepper till the edges turn brown.
- Set the red pepper aside.
- Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the same saucepan.
- Once the oil is hot add the chopped onion and garlic to the saucepan.
- Saute the onion and garlic till they turn light brown.
- Mix in the red pepper, crushed tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to boil.
- Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, mix together the sour cream, whipping cream, basil, salt and black pepper and set aside.
- Transfer the soup to a blender and blend till smooth. (It takes me a just a couple of minutes to achieve the soup like consistency)
- Pour the soup into bowls and add the basil cream on top. (I also added a few cut sprigs of basil to give it a very colorful and fresh feel)
This soup takes about 20 – 30 minutes to serve including prep time and cooking time. I love to serve this alongside some fresh salad with a ranch dressing.
The original recipe can be found at http://www.countryliving.com/recipefinder/red-pepper-soup-basil-cream-recipe?click=main_sr. I only made a change in the red pepper part of the recipe. Instead of buying a can of marinated red pepper I made my own fresh roasted pepper.