It had been so hot in Singapore in summer that anything hot was anathema and so I was looking for some cold soups I could make ahead of time. I wanted to make a cold Gazpacho soup, but then realised I didn’t have all the ingredients with me. So I improvised and made this soup. It was well-received, though S didn’t like it. I also realised that BB didn’t like it cold, so I heated it and he liked it then. But this can be made and served both cold and warm.
Gazpacho Inspired Tomato Corn Soup
8-10 medium-sized red tomatoes
1 small cup of frozen sweet corn
4-5 cloves of garlic
inch piece ginger
1 medium-sized onion
2-3 green chillies
2 tbsp (or more) extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Defrost the corn and cook it in the microwave for about 6-8 minutes, or until it becomes tender
Chop the tomatoes and keep them aside
Peel the garlic and the ginger and keep aside. Chop the green chillies and keep them aside.
Peel and chop the onions and keep them aside.
Drain the sweet corn and in a blender, blend the tomatoes, sweet corn, onion, green chillies, ginger, and garlic. Blend first into a chunky paste and then add in the olive oil and blend to a fine paste. You may add some water if you need it while blending.
Using a strainer, strain the soup into a pan and reblend till everything is a fine paste.
Add salt and pepper and if you want, you can pop this in the fridge and have it as a cold soup.
If you like BB didn’t like the raw taste, add some water and boil the soup till it starts to come to a nice rolling boil and let it boil for about 5-8 minutes or until the raw taste goes away.
Drink it hot or cold, either way, it is delicious!
These days we don’t eat rice on Sundays and so I am constantly on the look-out for recipes which we eat, mostly western dishes. One weekend, with an almost bare fridge, I decided to make a cauliflower and potato soup and decided to kick it up a notch by roasting the cauliflower first.
The soup was incredibly creamy and so filling. It also seemed to me to have a slight taste of mushroom soup and this was corroborated by BB & GG who loved it! I will be making this again and this will be added to my repertoire.
Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Soup
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets and kept aside
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 medium sized onion, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves
10-12 cashew nuts
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsps Olive oil
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celcius.
Line a large tray with either baking paper or aluminium foil and spread the chopped cauliflower in it. Drizzle about a tbsp of olive oil and then some salt and pepper and mix well. Pop it into the oven to roast for about 20-25 minutes or until the cauliflowers start to brown. Remove and keep aside.
Heat the balance oil and butter in a large saucepan and when warm, add the galic cloves. When the garlic starts to brown, add the cashew nuts and stir for a few minutes.
Then add the chopped onions and stir until the onions are translucent.
At that point, add the chopped potatoes, some salt and cook covered until the potatoes are done, stirring every few minutes.
Let everything cool down and then blend it to a smooth paste in a blender. This works best with a proper blender and an immersion blender may not make it as creamy as we want it to be.
Once it is smooth and creamy, bring this back to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Season as needed with salt and pepper and serve hot with bread croutons.
Dal Dhokli is a warm and comforting food from Gujarat. One day, during Singapore’s Circuit Breaker, I woke up with a craving for a dish I had never made. So I decided to make it and this dish pleasantly surprised me. It was warm and comforting and a wonderful addition to my repertoire. You can have this as a hearty soup like we did or over rice as some people do.
1 cup Toovar Dal, washed ½ tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp red chilli powder 1 tomato 4-5 cups water plus more, as needed 1 tsp jaggery 2-3 tbsp lemon juice 4 tbsp raw peanuts 1 cup whole wheat flour or atta 2 tbsp chickpea flour or besan 1 tsp caraway seeds or ajwain 2 tbsp ghee 1 tbsp oil 2 green chillies, slit lengthwise 1 tsp mustard seeds ¼ tsp asafoetida powder 1 sprig curry leaves Salt to taste Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish
Soak about 2 tbsp of the raw peanuts in hot water for 15 minutes, drain and keep aside. Wash the dal thoroughly and cook it in the pressure cooker along with ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 2 tbsp peanuts, the tomato which has a cross made on the stem and about 3-4 cups of water. Pressure cook it for some 4-5 whistles until the dal is completely mushed. If using the stove top, cook until the dal has broken down completely. Let the pressure be released and then once the cooker can be opened, carefully remove the tomato, peel the skin which should have started to come out and then put the tomato back into the dal. Whisk the dal until the dal, tomatoes and the peanuts are completely mixed into a mixture. Keep aside. Kneed the atta, besan, ajwain, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, oil and salt into a soft dough. Keep aside. Add the jaggery and another cup or two of water and mix well. Put this back into the flame and cook the dal on a slow simmer. Make small balls from the dough and roll it into a thin circle or chapati. Cut the chapatti into largish pieces or even strips. Add these pieces into the simmering dal and add more water if needed. Let the pieces cook for another 10 mins on a low flame on simmer. In a small pan heat the ghee and once the ghee is warm, add the mustard seeds and let it crackle. Then add the asafoetida and then the balance peanuts, the curry leaves and the green chilli let the leaves crackle and the chilli start to brown. When the peanuts become crisp, pour this tempering over the Dal Dhokli and switch off the gas. Add the lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.
Notes: This dish does not keep well as the dough pieces tend to stick together after a while. If you plan on serving this later, then make the dal and about 10 minutes before serving, add the dough pieces and simmer before serving. Add more water if needed as the dough pieces will soak up the water in the dish.
Last weekend, S wanted a light lunch as I was planning to make pizza for dinner. When I probed further, S said he wanted a carrot and tomato soup. So I went online and searched a few sites and then came up with this version. It is a keeper and a winner! It kept well and we finished it the next day.
Tomato Carrot Capsicum Soup
6 medium-sized tomatoes
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large red capsicum, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1-inch piece of ginger, chopped
2 dried red chillies (optional)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
Salt to taste
In a large pan or pressure cooker, heat the oil and when it heats, add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds and let it splutter.
When the seeds splutter, add the onions, ginger and garlic and let them brown.
When the onions brown, add the carrots and stir for a couple of minutes.
Make a small cross at the top of the tomato (where the stalk is) and put the whole tomatoes into the cooker or pan.
If using a pressure cooker, cover and cook for 3 whistles. If using a pan, cover and cook until the vegetables are completely cooked.
When cool, remove the tomatoes carefully and peel the skin and return it back to the pan.
Using a handheld blender, blend the cooked vegetables to a smooth paste. If you don’t have a handheld blender, then transfer to a normal blender, blend it and return it back to the pan.
Heat the pan again and thin it with water as needed. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
I’m actually surprised at myself that even though I’ve been cooking for so long, I’ve never made sweet corn soup. The other day, as I was planning our Sunday menu, my dad asked for this soup. I then realised I’ve yet to make this so looked around some sites and came up with my version of sweet corn soup. This recipe has minimal ingredients and I omitted corn paste which is traditionally used to thicken the soup, instead used nuts to thicken the soup. The verdict was very encouraging, everyone loved the soup and went for seconds and thirds and there was none left in the pot at the end of the meal!
Sweet Corn Soup
2 cups, frozen sweet corn, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and drained
1 handful each of almonds and cashew nuts, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes.
1 bunch spring onions
2 cups milk
2 tsp pepper powder
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Remove the skin of the almonds and keep the nuts aside.
Blend 1 cup sweet corn into a smooth paste with 1 cup milk, the soaked almonds and cashew nuts and some water.
Finely chop the spring onions and keep the white and green parts separate.
Heat a pan and put in the butter and oil.
When the butter melts, add the white part of the spring onions and fry till it becomes translucent. Then add salt and pepper and fry for a couple of seconds.
Next add in the remaining whole corn kernels and stir for a minute or two.
Now pour the blended corn and nut paste into the pan and stir well till it starts bubbling.
Add equal quantities of water and milk to thin it and season accordingly.
Serve hot garnished with the green portion of the spring onion.