Cauliflower soup

BM# 95: Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Winter warmers

Wish you all a very happy and healthy 2019!

2018 ended on a high note for our family. The entire summer was action packed with me becoming the stereotypical soccer mom. In our case it was cricket mom since most of our summer was dedicated to our son’s cricket class and matches. He is no Javagal Srinath yet, but he is away from electronics, spending time with other kids and is physically active. So Its a complete win as far as I am concerned. The game took over our complete summer, but it really was worth it.

We moved to a new neighborhood in November and are still settling in. My son is in middle school now (boy!! They grow up so fast!!) and his work load is a lot more than the previous years. So all in all the days are over way too quickly and before I realized it, 2018 has already waved me goodbye.

The new year began on a great note too as my brother and his family was visiting us over the holidays. They left last weekend and now the house feels lonely and cold. The cold part is a little too literal. It’s winter here and it’s no fun. The cold can be tolerated if you are dressed in layers, but if it’s a windy day like today, it’s very difficult. So it’s apt that I have chosen a piping hot cauliflower soup to serve you all here today. Check out the link for the original recipe from The Pioneer woman.

Read on for the recipe and you can see from the above picture that my son is having a good time too :-)

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons Butter, divided
  • 1 medium Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Carrot, diced
  • 1 whole cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • handful of fresh or dry parsley
  • 8 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 6 tablespoons  all purpose flour
  • 2 cups Milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a thick pan. Once it’s melted and hot, add the onions to it. Sauté until it turns to light pink.
  2. Add the chopped carrots and cauliflower. Saute for a couple of minutes and then cover and cook until the vegetables are softer, about 5 minutes. You can add some broth or water if the veggies starts to burn or start sticking to the bottom of the pan. Now add 8 cups of broth or water, parsley, salt as needed and let it come to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are done.
  3. In a separate pan, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter. In a bowl, whisk the milk and flour together until you don’t see any dry lumps of flour. Add the milk mixture slowly to the butter whisking continuously. Cook till then mixture thickens. Take off heat.
  4. Carefully add the white sauce to the soup, mixing with a spatula. Let it come to a boil. Taste test and adjust the salt if needed and add pepper. Serve hot!

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16 Bean Soup

16_bean_soup

I am in love with my Instant Pot and its a love that keeps growing. Indians use pressure cooker a lot in their daily cooking, so imagine a cooker where your work is done the minute the lid is closed. No waiting for the whistle or counting it. You can just walk away the minute you close the lid. I don’t find that Instant Pot saves a lot of cooking time than the Indian cookers, but the luxury of not babysitting is amazing.

One of the major attractions for me is the yogurt feature. I have never had consistent success in making yogurt at home once I came to US. With Instant Pot, that’s one thing I make regularly (though I haven’t started a batch yet after coming from India).

Cooking beans is another feature that I love. I can prepare a beans based curry even if I forget to soak the beans ahead. When I have unexpected guests and no veggies in the fridge, I cook some or the other kind of beans for 30 minutes and that’s all it takes! I do prefer to soak beans if I know in advance that I will be cooking it. So for this post, its soaked beans that I have used. I have used 16 bean soup packet here, so its not just one variety. I tried adding whatever vegetables I had at that time to make it a wholesome meal. I always serve bean soups with a fried egg on top and bread on the side.

Read on  for the recipe.

16_bean_soup3

Serves 4-5 people

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of a 12oz 16 bean soup packet
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 can (14oz) chopped tomatoes (or 5-6 tomatoes pureed)
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into rounds
  • 10-12 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder/paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed

Method:

  1. Wash and soak half the contents of a 12 oz beans soup packet overnight. Full contents would be too much for my family, so that’s why half the packet.
  2. In Instant pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in Saute mode. Add the crushed garlic and once its brown, add one big chopped onion. Saute till its cooked.
  3. Add the chopped mushrooms and sliced carrots. Sprinkle chili powder, oregano and salt and pepper. Add one can chopped tomatoes and mix well.
  4. Drain the beans and add it to the vegetable mix. Add enough water so that the beans is immersed completely and there is an inch of water above it, about 5-6 cups.
  5. Change the Instant pot from Saute mode to Bean/Chilli. Cover and make sure the whistle is in Sealed position. Cook for 15 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
  6. Once the pressure is released, bring it to a boil in Saute mode. Mash the soup a little if preferred to get the consistency you want. Taste test and adjust the seasonings, add lemon juice if preferred. Turn off the heat and serve with toasted bread.

16_bean_soup4

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

Mulligatawny soup

3mullagatawny soup

This soup is an example of how different something can be today from what it started out to be. Our humble rasam or ‘milagai thanni’ has turned into something totally different over a period of time. Mulligatawny is served now as a thick soup, spiced with curry powder with vegetarian and non vegetarian options.

For the third day of January BM, this soup is inspired from the San Francisco Soup company take away menu. Their description of this soup is “A lightly seasoned curried Chicken and Lentil soup with Apples, Carrots, Celery and Coconut Milk. ” Garnish suggestion is rice and cilantro.

Based on this I searched for a recipe that came close to this description. The one I found online had chickpeas, carrots, celery and coconut milk. My pantry had only red kidney beans, no carrots and no coconut milk. Yet I went ahead and prepared it with suitable substitutions. The soup with apples and sweet potatoes was shunned by the man. He dislikes the combination of sweet and savory in the same dish. If you are in that category, give this a skip. But if you are like me and love the idea of an easy all in one soup, this one is for you.

Read on for the recipe.

2mullagatawny soup

Recipe adapted from : Vegetarian Mulligatawny

Ingredients:

  • one teaspoon oil
  • one chopped onion
  • one teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1-2 carrots, diced (I didn’t have any)
  • 4 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked potatoes/ sweet potatoes
  • 1 diced apple
  • 1 can red kidney beans or cooked chick peas
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon each turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and chilli powder (OR 1 teaspoon curry powder)
  • salt and pepper
  • Cooked basmati rice, to serve

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Saute onions, followed by the ginger garlic paste. Add the diced carrots, chopped celery and potatoes.
  2. Add the spices – turmeric powder, cumin, coriander and chilli powders (OR curry powder). Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add 6 cups of stock or water. Add the diced apple, kidney beans or chick peas. Season per taste.
  4. Let it come to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Taste test and adjust seasonings.
  5. At the time of serving, you can add some coconut milk and lemon juice, if preferred. I didn’t.
  6. Serve on top of some cooked basmati rice.
  7. Garnish ideas: a dollop of yogurt, cilantro, raisins, chopped nuts.

1mullagatawny soup

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#60 

Roasted eggplant and tomato soup

1Roasted eggplant soup

There are times when you feel a little curious about a recipe and try it with an open mind. When I say am open mind, what I mean is that a part of your mind is preparing you for a colossal failure. This soup was in that category.

Eggplant, that too, in a soup? I had to try it for myself. I was expecting it to fail, but surprisingly it turned out well. It’s the basil that stands out the most, with a nice taste of eggplant coming in later. I liked it. But I have always been an eggplant lover.

I didn’t bother pureeing it when I served it first, but gave it a try later. Liked both the versions.

My husband is not a big fan of soups. So when I was making lunch for him, I threw a portion of this soup along with some boiled eggs and spinach puree I had and made a quick curry out of it. Served with some basmati rice and he was one happy man!

This post goes to January BM, under take away dishes theme. My choice of take away place is San Francisco Soup company. Yesterday was Smoky split pea soup and today is Roasted eggplant soup. Come back tomorrow for another interesting soup recipe.

2Roasted eggplant soup

Recipe adapted from : Food.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • 1 whole garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or chili powder (per taste)
  • 6 cups stock or water
  • few basil leaves
  • salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat a baking pan with olive oil and place your veggies on it after cutting it into half.
  2. Eggplant needs to be scored and seasoned and placed flat side down. Peppers can also be placed flat side down.
  3. Garlic can be cut into half and wrapped in foil with some oil, salt and pepper. Tomatoes can be cut into two and kept flat side up.
  4. Bake until the veggies are roasted, about 40 minutes. Place the peppers in a ziploc.
  5. Let it all cool. Peel off the skin from peppers. Roughly chop tomatoes and peppers.
  6. In a soup pan, add one tablespoon oil. Add the onions and cook until its pink.
  7. Add the pepper flakes, follow it up with the chopped tomatoes and peppers. Squeeze out the garlic from its skin and add it.
  8. Scrape out the flesh from the eggplant and throw the skin out. Add it to the soup along with 6 cups of water or stock and basil.
  9. Season per taste. Let it come to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  10. Take off the heat and once cool enough to handle, puree in batches.
  11. Heat at the time of serving and add some grated cheese if you prefer.

3Roasted eggplant soup