By Shalini Kolluri
A piping bowl of soup is the ultimate comfort food during the winter. After a long day of spending time out doors I love curling up on my couch with a warm bowl of steaming soup. We never had terrible winters in India. Having a bowl of wholesome soup for supper was never really a concept back then. However, now I understand that when temperatures drop and the days get shorter nothing hits the spot like this nutritious mug of goodness.
Every one loves soup. One of my friends always told me that giving soup to her kids was a way to fight picky eating! Her kinds loved creamy tomato soup alongside some grilled cheese sandwich. Soon she incorporated different soups such as, french onion and roasted pumpkin soup in their menu and bid picky eating goodbye!
Soups are great to make ahead. You can make large batches of soup, then freeze them in freezer bags. After you pour in the soup try to remove as much air as possible and then seal the bag.
Here’s the recipe of a simple tomato vegetable soup. It is easy to make and is perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends. I use a lot of cilantro in this recipe and this is why:-
Firstly, It adds a kick ass aroma and flavor when used in tomato based recipes.
Secondly, the herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.
Thirdly and most importantly, its deep-green leaves possess good amounts of antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which may help reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels in the blood.
Hope you enjoy one of my favorite soup recipes:-
4 large plum tomatoes
4 garlic cloves minced
1 small red onion
1 small green bell pepper chopped (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 table spoons whole milk/soy milk
1 table spoon olive oil/ butter
1 slice whole bread
1 table spoon agave/1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper (finely grounded)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder (red chili powder)
salt as required
1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped
2 tablespoons of water
1/2 teaspoon rice flour/corn starch
Rinse tomatoes. Take a saucepan with enough water so that the tomatoes are fully immersed. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water and boil with a lid for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, place the slice of bread in a pan or toaster and toast the bread till browned and crisp. After it is toasted cut the slice into small squares and keep aside.
Make a smooth paste of water and corn starch and keep aside.
Drain the tomatoes, peel them and remove the eves of the tomato. Add directly into a blender and make into a smooth puree.
On a skillet add oil. Once warm, add bay leaf. When the oil sizzles add in the minced garlic and stir for 2 minutes. Add in the chopped onions and fry till golden. Add in the green pepper, salt, chili powder and pepper.
After 5 min add in the puree and stir on medium heat.
Once the mixture comes to a boil in 7 min, add 2 tablespoons of soy milk and stir.
Add in the cilantro and heat for 10 min on low heat.
Add in the corn starch paste and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add in the sugar/agave and stir.
Turn off the heat.
Serve soup with toasted bread and croutons. Enjoy!