Butternut squash soup – The Indian way!


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Butternut squash soup – The Indian way!

 What’s not to love about soup right? Whether you are a soup person like me or on a self inflicted soup diet for weight loss, soup happens to be the perfect comforting food, especially this time of the year.  When I saw some butternut squash getting old in my pantry, I decided to try out this soup recipe. This is inspired by a recipe that I had read on a friend’s blogspot and can be made using many variations.

Here’s my version.

 Ingredients: Serves 6-8

 Butternut squash – Diced into small cubes

 Vegetable broth – 1 quart

 Spices – 2 -3 cloves, 1” cinnamon stick, 1-2 twigs nutmeg, 8-10 black pepper corns

 Onion – 1 diced

 Garlic – 2 cloves

 Red chillies – 5-6

 Salt to taste

 Fresh ground Pepper powder – 1 tsp

 Cilantro and slivered almonds/pine nuts for garnishing

 Olive oil – Preferably spray

 Method: Drizzle olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper powder onto the cubed squash pieces. You can use a  multi-spice grinder that comes with sea salt, dried lemon, dried garlic and pepper instead. Grill in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Image

 

Chop a medium size onion into large pieces. In a shallow frying pan, sautee’ the onions and spices and red chillies till the onions turn translucent. Let it cool.

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Then puree the roasted butternut squash and onions in a blender in small batches adding in small quantities of vegetable broth instead of water. Then, bring the blended mixture to a simmer on the stove for about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and slivered almonds or pine nuts.

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Carrot Ginger Soup


What do you do when your stomach is rumbling and it is not quite dinner time yet and you want to eat something healthy? Make soup of course! Tired of heating store-bought organic soups, I decided to make this easy soup as a healthy snack. This one I learnt from sis and has become a favorite in my family.

Ingredients : Serves 2

Carrots : 3-4 medium-sized.

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 clove of garlic

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

2 sprigs of mint

1 cup of milk or vegetable stock

Salt and Pepper for seasoning

For a fast and easy method, cut the carrots into 1/2 inch pieces and pressure cook them. Once cool, transfer to a blender, add the garlic, 1 spring of mint, ginger, lemon rind and milk. Grind to a smooth paste. Transfer the contents to a vessel and heat the soup till it starts bubbling. Add salt and pepper to taste. For added flavor, you can add a blob of butter to the soup or you can use creme fraiche as garnish just before serving. I added a bit of grated parmesan on top!

Alternately, you can saute some onions and carrots and let this boil in the stock and then blend it with the rest of the ingredients. But I like it quick and easy so I skipped this step.

Lentil Soup/Jeera-Milagu Rasam/ Kattina Saaru/


This is an ultimate comfort food especially if you have a sore throat. You can drink this straight or eat it along with rice. Best thing for clearing out nose congestions! The pepper and ginger give the rasam heat and flavour. The tempering of  jeera makes it so fragrant and completes the dish! I made this today for lunch along with some green gram chundal/palya. Yummy!

Ingredients : Serves 2-3

1 cup toor dal pressure cooked

2-3 green chillies, slit

2-3 curry leaves

1 lemon

1/2 tea spoon of freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon of jeera/ cumin

1/2 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon ghee/ clarified butter or oil

2 cups of water.

A few sprigs of cilantro

Place the dal and 2 cups of water and green chillies in a vessel and bring it to boil.  Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, until the dal breaks down and mixes with water. To this add the pepper, ginger, curry leaves and cilantro. After it simmers for a couple of minutes, turn off the heat and add the juice from one lemon.

Heat the ghee/oil in a small pan and add mustard and cumin seeds. Wait till the jeera turns a golden brown color. Add this tempering to the rasam. Serve piping hot with rice or serve it as a soup.