Soups

Sunday night Feast to celebrate Autumn

Welcome Autumn. End of summer almost feels like the end of a wonderful vacation. The one where you enjoyed to the fullest, drank wine a bit too much and feasted on supposedly light desserts. Now its time to go back. Although nostalgic about the end of the vacation , in your heart you are also longing for the comfort of the home and looking for solace in the routine.

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With the end of summer it is also time to start thinking about the plans next year. Perhaps its too early for some but i think I want to get it out of hands so I can start preparing for the big Holiday season. We have Hindu festival Diwali coming up then Thanksgiving and Christmas. A1 is in Girl scouts this year and boy, do they have a ton of activities. One of them is a camp out in October and I am really excited about that as I get to go with her.

 

Back to the food, we had a wonderful Sunday night feast to celebrate Autumn. That also means we are going to have to move our Sunday dinners indoors and have some comforting food.

For the first of such, I made Coconut curried Corn soup, Pasta with Mushrooms and Sun dried tomatoes and an Orange cake.

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Coconut Curried Corn soup

This soup is on the sweeter side. I paired it with a wonderfully aromatic white wine from Loire valley, France. Its called Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine.

serves 3

Ingredients:
  • Corn on the cob about 4 (should be sweet and young)
  • Coconut Milk 1 can
  • Onion 1 small
  • Garlic 2 cloves – peeled and crushed
  • Vegetable broth 1 cup ( substitute with Chicken broth if you would like)
  • Curry powder 1 tsp.
  • Dried Mint 1 tsp.
  • Paprika flakes or Adobo chili powder to sprinkle
  • Honey 1 tsp.
  • Salt per taste
  • Butter 1 Tbsp.

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Directions:
  • With a good knife, cut the corn kernels off the cob making sure you are leaving some of the Corn still on the cob.
  • Roast each of the Cob on open fire (if possible) for 2-3 minutes each, making sure it is roasted on all the sides. Set aside.
  • In a large cast iron pot (preferably), melt butter.
  • Add the Onion and Garlic. Saute for 3 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  • Add the Corn that removed from the Cob and saute for another minute.
  • Add Vegetable broth and the roasted cobs and let the mixture come to a boil.
  • Add Mint, Honey and simmer for another minute or two.
  • Remove the Cobs with the help of tongs.
  • Add Coconut Milk and simmer for a 4-5 and up to 8-9 minutes.
  • Add Salt and take off the heat.
  • When serving, sprinkle some Paprika flakes on it.

Enjoy.

xo

French Onion Soup – Vegetarian

As a family with 2 little girls, we quite often do Disney related things. The Princesses and the whole deal. My older one A1, recently announced she doesn’t like anything Princessy and asked me if I could change the color of her room from Pink to Blue. I assured her we can do that in another year, just in case she changed her mind. Couple of days later, I was discussing with my husband if it’s worth going to a Disney on Ice show. Sure enough, A1 heard that and insisted that she would still like to watch the Disney princesses. Hmmm.f1

Well, I made this French Onion Soup for brunch that day before getting out the door for whole day excursion. It turned out great. Original French Onion recipe calls for a beef broth which I don’t usually keep at home. I had vegetarian broth and the soup tasted wonderful in its vegetarian version.

I hope you like it too.

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Ingredients

 

  • Butter unsalted 2 Tbsp
  • Yellow onions, thinly sliced 2 medium
  • Garlic minced about 2 cloves
  • Bay leaf 1 large
  • Thyme sprigs 4
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Red wine ½ cup
  • All-purpose flour 2 Tbsp
  • Vegetarian Broth 2 Cups
  • Water warm as needed to get desired consistency
  • Parmesan Cheese shaved about 2 cups

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Directions

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees for Parmesan crisps.

  • In a large soup pot, melt the butter on medium heat.
  • Add Bay leaf and minced Garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to cook the Garlic.
  • Add the thinly sliced Onion and Thyme Springs. Sauté until Onion is caramelized. Make sure the Onion stays soft and doesn’t burn.
  • Add the Red Wine and bring the mixture to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until wine has evaporated.
  • Remove Bay leaf and Springs of Thyme.
  • Add the Flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until Flour has cooked but not burned.
  • Add the broth and cook for 10 minutes on medium flame. If you feel you need the soup thinner, add some warm water.
  • When you add the broth to soup, on parchment paper, arrange the shaved Parmesan in small circles.
  • Keep the Parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Keep a constant watch and remove immediately if the sides start turning brown.
  • Immediately remove parchment paper from cookie sheet to stop cooking and let cool. When serving, ladle soup in individual bowls. Top with one or two parmesan crisps and serve warm.

Enjoy

xoxo

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Adapted from What’s Gabby Cooking.

Winter Picnic and Lentil Soup recipe

We are in the middle of winter here in Chicago. Although the Winter didn’t hit us as hard as last year, there is still snow on the ground and no park visits. My kids especially A2 is getting very restless. So on Sunday, we decided we were going to do a Winter picnic. We set up the table with a outdoorsy tablecloth and laid out food and drinks as if we were outdoors. We also set out blankets and pillows in the Family room and played some Pictionary. Anything to keep these little ones happy, right?

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Ingredients:

Lentils 1 cup
Carrot 1 long cut in small round pieces
Cilantro a handful
Onion ½ cup cut small
Canola oil 1 Tbsp.
Cloves 5 ground
Bay leaf 2 medium size or 1 large
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Walnuts about 6

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Directions:

• Wash the lentils and keep aside. You can also soak the lentils for up to 2 hours to reduce the actual      cooking time.
• Roast the walnuts and make a powder.
• Heat oil in the soup pot or any large sauce pan. I use my beloved le crueset only for soups.
• Add onion and sauté.
• Add cloves powder and bay leaf and wait 20 seconds.
• Add Lentils and sauté for 3 minutes.
• Add Cumin powder and water. Let it come to boil and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
• Do check couple of times on water. If you feel there is not enough add ½ cup at a time. If you              soaked the lentils you will need less water.
• After 20 minutes, add the vegetable or chicken stock and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
 

You will need to keep in mind that if you soaked the lentils, you will need to shorten the times of    cooking.
• Finally add salt and bit of honey if you feel like it.

I added walnuts directly to the soup before removing from heat.
You can also add the walnut powder to ½ cup of sour cream and place a dollop of sour cream before serving.

enjoy

xoxo!!

L2

Chickpea Soup with Saffron

If you are looking for a protein filled vegetarian option for weeknight meal, here is your answer. Chickpea soup with enough protein from Chickpeas and Edamame, much needed veggies and Carbs from Noodles. You can just eat it as is or serve it with Fresh baked bread that can be dunked into the soup.

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Ingredients:
  • Chickpeas ¾ Can
  • Edamame Beans Frozen 6 Oz
  • Tomatoes 2 medium chopped
  • Carrots 2 chopped in cubes
  • Celery (optional) 1 stalk chopped
  • Onion yellow (or any mild onion) ½ chopped very small
  • Egg Noodles or Rice Noodles 4 Oz packet dry
  • Vegetable Broth 2 Cups plus more as needed or substitute water
  • Butter ½ Tbsp.
  • Saffron 2 generous pinches
  • Cumin Powder ½ Tbsp.
  • Ginger crushed 1 tsp
  • Black Pepper about 3 crushed fine
  • Clove 1
  • Salt per taste
  • Honey per taste
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Paprika (optional)
  • SP1
Directions:
  • Cut all the vegetables and keep aside. Open Can of Chickpeas, Drain and wash the Chickpeas and keep aside.
  • In a sauce pan on medium heat, add butter. When it starts to melt, add Onion and sauté until translucent but not brown.
  • Add Clove and wait for 10 seconds.
  • Add Carrots and Celery if using and sauté for couple of minutes.
  • Add tomato and sauté for another 2 minutes
  • Add Chickpeas and Edamame. Add the Vegetable Broth and let cook for 7 minutes or so.
  • Add Ginger, Saffron, Black Pepper, Cumin Powder and Salt and let cook for another 5 minutes. Carrot should be completely cooked.
  • If you feel you would like it a bit less tart, add honey. If you would like it hot, add paprika and mix.
  • Add as much water or Broth as needed to make it to desired consistency.

As for Egg Noodles, you add them in two different ways. One is cook them separately as per package instructions, toss in butter and add them to the soup right before serving OR you can add them to the boiling soup, let boil for couple of minutes and cover tightly until ready to serve. When ready to serve, Noodles should be cooked through. Warm the soup a little and serve. It would really depend on what’s easier for you and what type of Noodles you use.

Enjoy..

xoxo

Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Spicy Chickpea soup

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Butternut Squash Soup with Apple

Every year, I try to change the Home decor a little bit to suit the season. In the Summer, I change up the cushions a bit, get the Sunroom and Deck ready for long fun filled summer days. As the weather gets cooler, its a welcome change to make the Indoors more interesting. Believe me, its not easy to stay cooped up in long midwest Winters. I try to add a bit of interest by changing the Decor. I don’t do much because A2 is still a Toddler and loves to pull everything apart. Her favorite line these days is “Sorry Mommy, I fix it”. Yeah, right. She still can’t reach the middle of the table so I figured , I can add a couple of things on the table and perhaps the Fireplace mantle.

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As soon as the weather gets crisp and cool, the supermarket gets laden with all sorts of Squash produce and not to mention Apples. Here is a recipe for Butternut Squash Soup with Apple. If you are looking for a another variety of Squash soup, head over to my Soup section in the Recipe Index tab.

Ingredients:

Butternut Squash 1/2

Onion 1 Medium preferably yellow

Apples 2 small peeled and cubed in small pieces

Heavy Cream or Whole Milk 3/4 Cup

Chicken or Vegetable Stock 2 cups or bit more if needed

Cumin Coriander powder 1 1/2 tsp

Ginger grated 1/2 tsp

Salt per taste

Black Pepper per taste, I like it 1/4 tsp

Butter 1 tsp

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Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut the Squash in large thick strips, drizzle some olive oil and roast for about 25 to 30 minutes. It should look all cooked when you take it out. Let cool and remove the pulp from the skin. Set aside.
  • I made Soup only for 3 people so the Butternut Squash that I got was pretty large for my purpose. So I removed the pulp and stored half of it in a Ziplock bag in the freezer. I will use it within a month but in case I forget, I always label the food so i know what is in there and when I stored it.

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  • In a large saucepan, heat butter at medium heat, add onions and saute for couple of minutes. Add Ginger and let cook for 30 seconds or so.
  • Add the Apples, Cumin-Coriander powder, Salt, Black Pepper and saute for couple of minutes stirring constantly so as not to burn.
  • Add Stock 2 cups and let the mixture come a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add Heavy cream/Milk and simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Let this mixture cool slightly.
  • Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.

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Serve warm.

Enjoy!!

xoxo

 

 

 

Cool Avocado Soup for the Summer

You saw my post on my little one’s Curious George Birthday. I mentioned that I had made some of the food items. This soup was one of them. We celebrated Birthday during the day and the heat index was showing 82 degrees which is kinda hot for Chicagoans. This soup provided a bit of coolness in the summer heat. the soup itself requires no heating or cooking. Just a good old blender and refrigerator. This can also be carried in containers as long as you keep it in a cooler. I only had a cup of soup left over and that lasted into the evening without any change of taste so I suppose you can also make it ahead of time.

The soup has a very beautiful shade of green color. Truly my summer favorite from now on.

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Ingredients:

Avocados Ripe 1 large

Cucumber Peeled and cut in small pieces 2 small persian

Yogurt/Buttermilk 2 cups

Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp

Tarragon 1 tsp

Chives 1 tsp

Scallions 1/4 cup cut small

Garlic Fried 1 tsp

Pistachios for Garnish

Salt per taste

Honey 1 tsp if desired

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Directions:

Mix all the ingredients above except Pistachios in a blender and mix until pureed smooth. If you are using Yogurt, add a little water when blending. I have a Nutribullet which worked fantastically. I am sure my dream machine Vitamix would do even better. Pour the soup in a preferably glass container and close with a plastic wrap. Wrap should be touching the soup. Then do another wrap to ensure tight seal. You would hate to get other Refrigerator food smells getting into the soup. Chill for couple of hours or more.

When serving pour in a bowl and garnish with Pistachios.

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Enjoy!!

xoxo

P.S. If you didn’t see the Curious George Birthday Post, it is here.

The recipe is taken from Deborah Madison’s Vegetable soups.

Asparagus soup

Our Farmer’s Market will start soon. I am so looking forward to browsing through what local farmers have to offer and making the menu based on what’s available. With Spring in full swing, there are lot of fresh veggies in the usual supermarket as well.

Spring always means Asparagus to me. I love eating it just grilled with a sprinkle of salt. But not everyone in the family is going to be eating it that way so I came up with this healthier version of Asparagus Soup. The soup has minimal number of ingredients to bring out the real flavors of Asparagus.

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Ingredients:

Asparagus 2 bunches broken in middle to take only tender portion of the Asparagus

Vegetable or Chicken Stock 2 cups

Whole Milk 1/2 cup

Herb de Provence 1 tsp

Garlic 2 cloves crushed

Salt as needed

Directions:

Boil water and add Asparagus to it and boil for 3 minutes. Immediately take it out and keep aside. In a sauce pan, add splash of oil or add a bit of Butter. Add Garlic and saute for 30 second to one minute making sure it doesn’t burn. Add Asparagus and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the stock and let it come to boil. Add Herb de Provence and Milk and boil for couple of minutes. Turn of the heat and add salt as per taste. Enjoy!!

xoxo

 

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