Pumpkin Soup

I disliked pumpkin when I was little. Blissfully ignorant of this humble vegetable’s nutritional value, I tried to avoid it in my diet. Now, that I am aware of this incredibly rich produce, I search for ways to incorporate it in my food.
Easiest is to boil, puree and slurp it away as a soup. But to flavor the bland is important.

Here, I have added fresh green garlic, onions and tangy tomatoes as flavoring agents to the insipid pumpkin. The entire scenario changes. From vapid to vigor. From tasteless to luscious, the transition is obvious. No cream, no butter, no milk. This soup is light and power packed with benefits.
To believe me, you have to try this blend.

Pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup

Ingredients

  • 100gms pumpkin, washed, chopped into pieces
  • 1 big onion, sliced thinly
  • 2-3 fresh green garlic
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped mint leaves to garnish

Method

Heat oil, saute the onions and garlic, then throw in the chopped pumpkin and tomatoes. Add 1 cup of water. Transfer the contents into a pressure cooker. Let it whistle 3-4 times. Once cool, remove your steamed veggies, run a blender through it. A beautiful sunny yellow broth looks back at you. You could use it as it is, or strain to remove any tomato seeds. I used it just how it was.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Give it a boil. Remove in a bowl, sprinkle chopped mint leaves and serve with your favourite bread or salad.

Comfort for cold chilly evenings

Comfort for cold chilly evenings

I made this wholesome humble soup with an exotic cherry tomato salad. The dinner was divine!

Add colors to your life!

Add colors to your life!

Benefits Of Pumpkin –
Pumpkin is rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins. This humble backyard low calorie vegetable contains vitamin A, flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as leutin, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance.

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Spinach Carrot Soup

A delicious blend of spinach and carrot, with a hint of garlic, makes this fusion irresistible. Milee loves her soups. Her only condition, the concoction needs to be a little tangy. She trips on the flavours of lime, tamarind and raw mango. So, with the addition of a small fat tomato, life comes into this boring soup.
Spinach and carrot for health. Tomato for tartness and a pinch of grated garlic for a wonderful flavour.

Go Green.

Go Green.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of spinach, washed thoroughly, chopped
  • 1 carrot – I used red carrot. U can use any type which is readily available
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine.
  • 1 medium-sized red ripe tomato, chopped.
  • 1 big clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of olive oil or butter
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder
  • Garnish: grated cheese!

Method

Heat oil/butter, saute the onions, then throw in the chopped spinach, carrot and tomatoes. Add 1 cup of water. Transfer the contents into a pressure cooker. Let it whistle 3-4 times. Once cool, remove your steamed veggies, run a blender through it. A slightly dark green liquid greets you. You could use it as it is, or strain to remove any tomato seeds and carrot threads. I used it just how it was.
Now in another pan, heat just a drop of oil or butter, grate garlic into it. Don’t burn the garlic. Add the soup, salt and pepper to taste. Give it a boil. Remove in a bowl, grate cheese over it and serve with your favourite bread.

Slurp away with your favorite bread.

Slurp away with your favorite bread.

Creamy Broccoli and Lentil Soup

A bowl full of health.

A bowl full of health.

Ingredients –

  • a cup full of broccoli florets
  • a fistful of yellow split mung dal
  • a fistful of orange masur dal
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of green garlic
  • 1/2 a tsp of olive oil
  • pepper powder and salt to taste
  • A tbsp of chopped spring onion leaves
  • optional – 2 tablespoons of minced mixed veggies like carrot, beans and green bell pepper

Method –

In a pot, heat oil, fry the onions and chopped garlic, along with its aromatic stems. Then throw in the broccoli, along with the lentils. Fry for another minute. Add 4 cups of water and salt. I, transferred the pot into a pressure cooker, and whistled it for about 5 whistles. Once the soup is out of the cooker, run a blender through it. The result is a creamy frothy slightly green liquid. Yumm!

Add your freshly grounded pepper powder. Garnish with chopped spring onion leaves.

If u need a little bite with your soup( like, how my husband does), add semi sautéed mixture of minced veggies. There! You’re done. Along with toasted garlic bread, this super healthy soup tastes simply divine!

Add minced veggies for that extra bite.

Add minced veggies for that extra bite.

Quick Tomato Rasam

On cold, chilly evenings, when you crave for something spicy, light and filling – this tomato rasam is your knight in shining armour. Its ready in a jiffy, and you really dont need many ingredients to make this. The lesser you throw in, the better the result. Plain white soft rice, a pappad, pickle and your family is all that you need as an accompaniment to this tangy soup.

Tomatoes, Tangy and Tasty.

Tomatoes, Tangy and Tasty.

Ingredients –

  • 4-5 ripe red round tomatoes, chopped finely.
  • 3-4 whole dried red chilies
  • 1 tiny onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • salt to taste, 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp of lime juice
  • To Garnish: chopped coriander.

Method –

In a kadai, heat oil. Add the onions, fry them till they turn pinkish.Throw in the red chilies. Now add the chopped tomatoes.
A little word on the kind of tomatoes to be used: I took the fat round juicy ones, called the “desi” tomatoes. They are more tangy, flavourful and they cook faster as they are super fleshy on the insides. You can use the plum tomato variety, if these are not available.

So, back to the method, along with the tomatoes, add salt and red chili powder. Mix well, cover and cook for almost 15 minutes, till the tomato has reduced to a pulpy state. I mean, you need to saute it real well. It should be like a chutney. Now to this add (150-200) ml of water. Give it a boil. Add grated garlic from top. Mix once. Turn off the flame, add lime juice and coriander. Serve it as a soup or with rice, papad, pickle and potato fries.

Super easy, isnt it? No dal, no grinding, no heavy masalas. Simple flavourful and yummy.

Ideal for chilly evenings.

Ideal for chilly evenings.

The day I made this rasam, I even prepared the potato fries. The complete ensemble is for you to drool over:

Complete south indian meal.

Complete south indian meal.