What’s better than a bowl of hot soup to drive away the monsoon blues? Rustling them up yourself and experimenting with some unusual recipes while at it, for sure. A homemaker, a chef and a food blogger share some of their favourite soup recipes with Deepali Dhingra. Go ahead, slurp
Fennel soup, by food blogger Tarika Singh
Singh, who blogs at To The T (www.tarikasingh.com), says: Make your own croutons at home. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C. Place bread on a parchment lined baking sheet in the oven and drizzle them with olive oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bread is crispy.
>> 200-250 gm fennel bulbs
>> 1 tbsp olive oil
>> 1 small onion, finely chopped
>> 1 medium-sized clove of garlic, minced
>> Zest of one lemon
>> A pinch of red chilli flakes
>> 1 cup low sodium stock (chicken or vegetable)
>> ½ cup milk
>> Salt and pepper to taste
>> 1 cup fresh tomato puree
>> Croutons, for serving
>> Chop off the fennel stalks and save the fronds for garnish. Cut and discard the base of the bulb and then discard the core. Cut the bulb vertically and then chop horizontally.
>> Heat olive oil in the pan of a pressure cooker or in a deep, heavy-bottom pan on medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until they turn pale
golden. Add garlic, chilli flakes and zest, stir and cook for about one minute. Add the chopped fennel bulb, stir to combine well and cook for another minute.
>> Pour the stock over the mixture, stir and bring to a boil. If using a pressure cooker, secure the lid and give it two whistles. If using a pan, cover with lid and let it simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
>> Let the mixture cool and then blitz completely with a blender.
>> Pour the mixture back into the pan. Add milk, stir and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Season as required with salt and pepper. Garnish with fennel fronds and croutons before serving.
Crab Coconut soup, by Chef Melvin D’Souza
He Said She Said Head Chef Melvin D’Souza says: Crab is in season, and crab meat is healthy. You could also use soft coconut and sauté it with crab meat.
>> 2 tbsp olive oil
>> 1 onion, finely chopped
>> 1 celery ribs, finely chopped
>> 2 garlic cloves, crushed
>> 1 red chilli peppers (fresh, seeded and chopped)
>> 1 tomato (large, peeled and chopped)
>> 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
>> 4 cups stock (crab, or 4 cups fish stock or 4 cups vegetable stock, with fish sauce to taste)
>> 11/4 lbs crabmeat
>> 1 cup coconut milk
>> 2 tbsps palm oil (or 2 tablespoons butter substitute)
>> The juice of 1 lime
>> Salt, to taste
>> Heat the olive oil in a pan over low heat. Stir in the onion and celery, and sauté gently for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes.
>> Add the tomato and half of the cilantro, and increase the heat. Stir for 3 minutes and add the stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
>> Stir the crab, coconut milk and the palm oil (butter) into the pan, and simmer over a very low heat for 5 minutes. The consistency should be thick but not stew-like, so add some water if needed
>> Stir in the lime juice and remaining cilantro, then season with salt to taste.
>> Serve with chilli oil and lime wedges on the side.
Radish, Mushroom Soya broth, by Shivani Patel
Homemaker Shivani Patel says: This is one of my favourite healthy low-cal recipes. It’s easy to prepare and combines all the goodness of veggies and proteins in the form of tofu and soya. If you add the rice noodles, it’s a meal in itself.
>> 2 medium radish, finely chopped
>> 1 cup celery, finely chopped without leaves
>> A pack of mushrooms (shitake mushrooms if possible)
>> Vegetable stock cube
>> Mushroom stock cube (optional)
>> 6 cups of water
>> Salt to taste
>> 2 tbsp of garlic fried in 5 tbsp oil
>> Spring onion, finely chopped
>> Chilli flakes
>> Soya nuggets
>> Coriander leaves chopped
>> Soya sauce
>> Boiled rice noodles (optional)
>> Boil the water and add all the above ingredients (except the garnish) and let it boil for 30 minutes.
>> At the time of serving, add the garnish