Oven roasted carrot soup

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If you want to make anything delicious, I suggest you roast it in the oven. Tomatoes, yes…onions, yes….carrots, yes….sweet potato, yes….garlic ,yes. I think I have made my case. Roasting in the oven gives the dish a lovely aroma and an explosion of flavours that are otherwise not unearthed. I know I have two more carrot soups on my blog (here and here) but do you really believe there is a finite number of carrot soups in the world? Like I said before, carrots are able to marry any other vegetable easily and so the flavours to be explored multiply exponentially. Carrot’s natural sweetness can be balanced with any spicy flavouring and result in a magical soup. So try this one too and raise your glass to the humble carrot.

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Recipe adapted from here

Serves 3

WHAT WE NEED

3 medium to large carrots

1 medium sized onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tomatoes

2 tbsp curds / yogurt

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Peel and roughly chop the carrots
  • Roughly chop the onion
  • Add the garlic, olive oil, cumin, pepper and some salt and mix well
  • Place on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes till they start turning brown
  • Turn the tray once during the roasting to ensure equal roasting on all sides
  • Take out the baking tray and cool slightly
  • In the meanwhile, soak the tomatoes in hot water for 10-15 minutes
  • Peel the skin, deseed the tomatoes and purée it
  • Add the roasted vegetables to a mixer / food processor and blend to a smooth mix
  • Add the purred vegetables and the tomato purée to a pot and mix well
  • Stir in the yogurt and adjust for salt
  • Let it simmer for 10 minutes or so till it is hot
  • Serve hot
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘One vegetable three ways’.

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Moroccan Roasted Carrot Soup

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The weather is Bangalore is amazing this time of the year. It is cold enough to want to have tea and hot, deep fried snacks all the time but not too cold that you need multiple layers of clothes. It is perfect weather for a soup and I had some carrots which had to be used at the earliest. I roasted them with some onions and garlic and blended it with some roasted cumin and the results were delicious to say the least. It is the perfect recipe for a lazy day meal because you get rather tasty results with minimal efforts.

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Recipe adapted from here

Serves 2-3

WHAT WE NEED

3 carrots, medium to large

1 onion, large

5-6 garlic cloves

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp roasted cumin seeds

2-3 cups water / veg stock

Salt & pepper

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Cut the onion, carrots and garlic into large chunks and transfer them to a oven safe dish
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix in the olive oil
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes till the carrots start shrinking
  • Blend the carrots, onion and garlic with roasted cumin
  • Transfer the mixture to a vessel and add the vegetable stock / water
  • Let it come to a boil and turn off the gas
  • Serve hot with some bread
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon for the theme, ‘Moroccan Cuisine’.

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Thai scented Asparagus Soup

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The protein for today is Asparagus. It is one of the vegetables high in protein. Most of my experience with asparagus is what I have watched on Masterchef Australia. It is one of the vegetables I used to drool over and wonder how it would taste. Asparagus is not very easily available in India. But when I saw that it was rich in proteins I wanted to make at least one dish using asparagus. Luckily, I found a small bunch which did not leave me with too many options for dishes. But I figured a soup always works, especially for me. Then I found this absolutely delightful soup with asparagus and coconut milk and I knew I had to make it. 

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I added some spring onions in addition to onions and 

Protein – Asparagus

Recipe adapted from here

Serves 2

WHAT WE NEED

Asparagus                              100 gms

Onion, large                           1

Spring onion green               1/2 cup

Oil / unsalted butter              1 tbsp

Pepper, ground                      1/2 tsp

Coconut milk                           3/4 cup

Vegetable stock                        2 – 3 cups 

Lemongrass, dried                  3 small stalks

Ginger, grated                          1 tbsp

Lemon juice                             1/4 tsp

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Cut asparagus into 1″ small pieces
  • In a pan, heat the oil / butter 
  • Chop the onions and add it to the pan
  • Once it turns translucent add spring onions, lemongrass and ginger
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes
  • Add asparagus, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat stirring frequently
  • Add coconut milk and 2 cups of vegetable stock and cook till the asparagus is tender, about 10 minutes
  • Turn off the gas and let it cool for some time
  • Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and blend until smooth
  • If the soup is too thick, add 1/2 cup of vegetable stock and cook in the pan for 5 minutes on medium. Else warm the soup for 5 mins in the pan
  • Turn off the gas and add lemon juice and garnish with fresh coriander
  • Enjoy with some bread

NOTES

  1. You can either use fresh or dried lemongrass. If you use dried lemongrass, remove it from the soup before blending it. If using fresh lemongrass, finely chop and add it along with ginger.

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Sprouted Mung Soup

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Here we are. Today is the first day of our mega marathon for protein rich dishes. Like I said yesterday, I want to showcase as many protein sources for vegetarians as possible. There will be 2-3 recipes with eggs but no more. So, the plan is to have lentil based dishes for the two days this week and the whole of next week.

We start with a simple and nutritious sprouted mung soup. It is delicious, if I may say so myself. The best part of this dish was that I could mix it with some rice and feed the daughter who has a problem with the word, ‘soup’. Even if you give her ice cream and call it soup, my guess is she would refuse it. Maybe I need a new name. Until then, I find new ways to get some soup into her.

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Mung beans is said to contain 24% protein which is significant. According to ‘A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food’ by K.T.Achaya, an old lost plant form first gave rise to two forms of Vigna sublobata (botanical name for beans), one of which evolved to black gram / urad dal and the other to green gram / mung dal. Now that I think about it, they do look similar. Mung, as per Buddha, is part of the food group which are ‘full of soul qualities’ and ‘devoid of faults’. If that is not recommendation enough, then what is?

Protein – Mung beans

Recipe adapted from here

Serves 4 -5 people

WHAT WE NEED

Mung sprouts                                           1 cup

Cabbage, grated                                       1/2 cup

Carrot, small & finely chopped             1

Capsicum, finely chopped                      1

Garlic cloves                                              3-4

Oil                                                                1/2 tsp

Cornflour                                                    2 tsp

Soy sauce                                                    1 tsp

Vinegar                                                       1 tsp

Vegetable stock                                         2 cups

Salt

Water

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Boil the mung sprouts in 3 cups of water for 4-5 minutes till it is cooked al dente (cooked but not cooked till mashable consistency)
  • Drain the water and save it for later
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the garlic
  • Once the garlic starts browning, add the mung sprouts, cabbage, carrots and capsicum and toss it
  • Stir fry for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the vegetable stock and 1 cup of water used to cook the mung sprouts
  • Let it come to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes
  • Mix the cornflour with a little water to form a paste
  • Add salt, soy sauce, vinegar and cornflour paste and stir well
  • Simmer for 5 minutes
  • Serve hot with some bread for a wholesome meal
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the first day of the Mega Marathon for Protein Rich Dishes.


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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80

Italian Lunch Spread

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Anyone who has spent more than a few minutes on my blog or talking to me will know I adore all things cheese and all food Italian. I have been planning on making a full fledged Italian meal forever now but never got around to doing it. The Thali theme for this month’s Blogging Marathon finally forced my hand and I ticked an item off my bucket list.

Disclaimers first – This may not be an authentic Italian meal considering it is purely vegetarian except for an egg in the Eggplant Parmigiana. This would be the meal you would have in popular Italian restaurants in India. My limited research tells me the meal usually consists of –

Soup

Antipasti / Starters

Primo / First course – Usually a risotto or pasta

Secondo / Second course – Usually some meat or fish

Dolce / Dessert

I have made –

Mushroom Soup

Bruschetta – A simple and lip smacking starter that goes well with the soup

Pasta in Arrabiata Sauce for the First Course

Eggplant Parmigiana – A tasty baked eggplant dish topped generously with cheese

Mushroom and Capsicum Pizza with lots of Mozzarella cheese – I used a healthy pizza crust recipe with oats and wheat flour which results in a guilt free indulgence.

Vanilla Panna Cotta – An easy and quick dessert to round up the meal

The usual Italian meal also includes a cheese platter and seasonal fruits. I have omitted them and replaced that with a Pizza in typical Indian style because all we know about the Italian cuisine is pizza, pizza and some more pizza.

I have detailed the recipe for Bruschetta here which is a perfect answer to an easy and tempting starter and can be made quickly if you have unexpected guests.

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme – Thalis.

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September Cooking Carnival Round up

 

We had a mega blogging marathon for the entire month of September for which I chose the theme of Soups. I have showcased 26 different soups each of which was a lovely experience, not to mention it got my daughter eating way more vegetables than usual.

Here is a recap of the series –

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Roast Tomato & Bread Soup

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Spring Onion Soup

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Quick Potato Soup

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Lentil Ginger Soup

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Broccoli Almond Soup

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Mushroom Almond Soup

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Egg Drop Soup

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Sweet Corn Soup

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Cucumber Soup

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Tomato Soup

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Chunky Vegetable Soup

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Bottle Gourd Soup

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Pea & Mint Soup

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Beetroot Soup

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Apple & Almond Soup

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Pudina Shorba

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Spinach Soup

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Oats Soup

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Ajo Blanco

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Lemon Coriander Soup

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Carrot Soup

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Corn & Capsicum Soup

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Manchow Soup

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Clear Onion Soup

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Moroccon Style Chickpea Soup

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Potato Corn Chowder

 

Do try these flavorful soups and let me know how you liked them. Also, check out other themes by my fellow marathoners.

 

 

Potato and Corn Chowder

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Honestly, I cannot believe that I completed the Mega Marathon in time. It was a challenging month with the moving in to the new house and settling down and blogging daily. Of course, in my mother’s words -“You could simply have done it next month.” But it is hard to explain as to why doing my first mega marathon is important. It is Very Important and I did it!!!

I have two thank yous to give out – one to my blender which worked tirelessly the whole month blending my soups and secondly to my new maid who just could not understand why the blender needed to be used everyday. In her (translated) words – “Didi, you are just three of you in the house. How do you come up with so many vessels and why is the blender used daily?” After I explained food blogging to her, her daily comment was “Aaj phir se photo? (Clicking food pics again?)” Well well.

I had so many recipes bookmarked for the soup edition. I wanted to do at least one pasta soup, one in a bread bowl and one chocolate too. But I couldn’t manage them. Hopefully I will get to these soon. All in all, I had a fabulous time making and savoring these soups and clicking and blogging about them with some truly amazing people around the world.  So here is my final soup of this Mega Marathon –

Serves 3

Recipe adapted from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Olive oil                          1 tbsp

Onion, medium            1

Garlic cloves                  3

Potatoes, medium       3

Corn, shelled                 1 cup

Vegetable stock            3 cups

Salt & Pepper

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat the oil. Chop and add the onion and garlic cloves
  • Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes.
  • Add the potatoes once the onion is translucent and saute for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the corn, salt, pepper and vegetable stock and cook till the potatoes are fully cooked
  • Let the mixture cool and then blend it to a smooth puree
  • Transfer it back to the pan and bring to a boil
  • Serve hot
  • Enjoy with some bread or crackers!

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This post is part of the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Moroccon Style Chickpea Soup

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When I started the soup theme this month, my plan was to make more lentil, bean and grain soup so that I could replace my meals with them and spend lesser time in the kitchen. But I saw so many varieties of soups with different veggie combinations that I sidelined the grains and lentils and went after the veggies. So when I came across this recipe, I simply had to make it, especially since today is the penultimate day of the month long marathon.

This recipe is very similar to the Indian chole which is a regular accompaniment to rotis or puris or rice. It is a lot less spicy version and can be enjoyed with any flat bread of your choice. Mine was roti.

Serves 3

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Chickpeas                                                         1 1/2 cups

Olive oil                                                             2 tbsp

Onion, finely chopped                                  1

Garlic, minced                                                 1 tsp

Freshly ground toasted cumin                  1 tsp

Chilly powder                                                  1/2 tsp

Sugar                                                                  1/2 tsp

Tomatoes, chopped                                       2

Vegetable stock                                              2 cups

Salt

Coriander leaves                                            to garnish

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight and pressure cook them the next morning for 2-3 whistles till they are completely cooked
  • Heat the oil and add the garlic and onion and saute on low flame till the onion turns soft
  • Add powdered cumin and chilly powder and mix well
  • Add salt and vegetable stock and 1 cup of the chickpeas and bring to a boil
  • Mash the balance 1/2 cup of chickpeas with a potato masher or with your fingers to form a mushy mix
  • Add the balance chickpeas to the pan and mix well
  • Simmer for 12-15 minutes till the soup becomes slightly thick
  • Turn off the heat and adjust seasoning, if required
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with any flatbread
  • Enjoy!

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This post is part of the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Clear Onion Soup

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I am not a huge fan of clear soups. Therefore the logical conclusion is that the husband is. He does not understand why soups need to be creamy, rich purees as against light soups with lots of flavour and I fail to comprehend why I need such clear soups when water will do the trick. Plus I don’t like straining out all the veggies. I feel super guilty about wasting them. Chalk and cheese!

Since he was travelling most of the month, I indulged myself with all the creamy soups to my liking. He returned and has been cribbing for the past three days about not having clear soup. So today’s soup is for the husband.

Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Olive oil                                    1 tbsp

Onion, medium                      1

Garlic cloves                            2

Carrot, medium                      1

Soy sauce                                  1-2 tsp

Chilly sauce                             1/2 tsp

Vegetable stock                      3 cups

Salt & Pepper

Button mushroom                1

Spring onion, chopped        2 tsp

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Dice the onion, garlic and carrot
  • Heat oil and add the onion and garlic
  • Once the onion starts browning, add the carrot and fry for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the soy sauce and chilly sauce and mix well
  • Add the vegetable stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil
  • Simmer for 12-15 minutes
  • Turn off the heat and strain the vegetables
  • Thinly slice the mushroom
  • Add mushroom slices and spring onion and serve hot
  • Enjoy!

 

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This post is part of the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68

Corn and Capsicum Soup

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I believe this is the longest I have gone in my blog without a recipe including cheese. And how could we let that happen? Though this one doesn’t have cheese as a main ingredient, it does lend a lovely flavour to the soup and though it is optional, I would recommend it wholeheartedly.

This soup has curry powder as its main flavour. I did not have it in my kitchen and figured that it shares a lot of ingredients with our very own garam masala and so the substitution was made with delicious results. I have used only green capsicum but you could use a combination of green and red. Usually I wouldn’t mind if the vegetable stock is substituted with water but I would not recommend that here because the garam masala and stock blend well to flavour the capsicum and corn. So do take time to make or buy the stock.

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Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

Olive oil                                    1 tbsp

Capsicum, large                    1

Onion, medium                     1

Garam masala                        1 tsp

Shelled corn                           1 1/2 cups

Vegetable stock                    1 cup

Milk                                          1 cup

Salt & Pepper

Cheddar cheese, grated      to garnish

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat oil in a saucepan
  • Chop and add the capsicum and fry for 2-3 minutes
  • Chop and add the onion and fry for 2 minutes
  • Add the garam masala and salt and mix well
  • Add the corn, pepper and vegetable stock and bring to a boil
  • Simmer for 5 minutes till the vegetables are cooked tender
  • Let the mixture cool and then blend it to a smooth puree
  • Add milk  and the puree to the saucepan and mix well
  • Bring to a boil and turn off the heat
  • Garnish with grated cheddar cheese
  • Enjoy!

 

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This post is part of the September Mega Marathon under the theme – Soups.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68