Tomato Basil Soup – Healthy and Delicious

My dad was a bit under the weather this week with a really bad throat. So all week I have been making soft and mushy things that would not irritate his throat any more that it already was. I made super soft Ven Pongal, Daddojanam, and Mosaru Avalakki. Yesterday I also worked from home to keep him some company and made him some Tomato Basil Soup.

I loved this soup as it did not need too many ingredients and used Basil, my favourite herb. This version also uses carrot and onion which impart a touch of sweetness to the soup. It also explains the Orangish shade of this soup. It was the perfect soup for the rainy days we are having in Mumbai.

You could also try my Roasted Tomato Soup.

Recipe for Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients

  1. Tomatoes – 500 gms
  2. Carrots – 100 gms
  3. Onion – 100 gms
  4. Basil – 15 to 20 leaves
  5. Oil – 2 tbsp (preferably Olive Oil)
  6. Salt to Taste
  7. Pepper to Taste

Tomato Basil Soup

Method to Make Tomato Basil Soup

  1. Blanching the Tomatoes:
    1. Boil about 1.5 litres water.
    2. When the water starts to boil, add the whole tomatoes.
    3. Let the tomatoes cook in the water till the skin splits.
    4. Turn off the heat.
    5. Drain the hot water.
    6. Let the tomatoes cool.
    7. Skin the tomatoes.
    8. Cut the tomato into 1/2″ pieces.
    9. Set aside.
  2. Other Preparations:
    1. Peel and cut the carrots into 1/4″ pieces.
    2. Peel and cut the onions into 1/2″ pieces.
  3. To Make the Tomato Basil Soup:
    1. In a pan, heat the olive oil.
    2. Add the onion and stir-fry till translucent.
    3. When the onions are cooked, add the carrot pieces and saute for 5 to 7 minutes.
    4. Next, add the tomato pieces.
    5. Stir-fry for 5 minutes.
    6. Turn off the heat.
    7. Blend the tomato-carrot-onion mix and basil leaves to a smooth paste.
    8. Pour the ground mix into a large vessel.
    9. Add about 1.5 cups of water and salt.
    10. Bring to a boil.
    11. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
    12. Turn off the heat.
    13. Divide into 4 soup bowls.
    14. Garnish the Tomato Basil Soup with some basil and pepper powder.
    15. Serve hot.

Tomato Basil Soup

Easy Chilled or Cold Cucumber Soup

Cold Cucumber Soup is just what I needed in this year’s unusually hot summer. With temperatures flirting with 40°C in April, I dread to think what lies in store for Mumbai in May and June. These hot and humid days actually put me off eating altogether or I keep yearning for something cold.

I have been meaning to make this Cold Cucumber Soup or Chilled Cucumber Soup for a while now and the weather had handed me the perfect opportunity. This soup can be made with ingredients readily available in many Indian homes and is very light on the stomach. The best part about this recipe for the Cold Cucumber Soup is that there is no cooking involved and so it frees us from using the hot stove as well.

I made a big batch of this soup and then left it to be chilled in the fridge and had it for lunch over 3 days. It stayed fresh and so that meant even less cooking. 🙂

Cold or Chilled Cucumber Soup

How to Make Cold Cucumber Soup

Easy Chilled or Cold Cucumber Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
This chilled cucumber soup is just perfect for hot summers. This soup is served cold and so can be made in advance.
Course: Soup
Servings: 4 Cups
Author: Aruna Panangipally
Ingredients
  • 2 + 1/2 Cups Finely Chopped Cucumber
  • 4 Cups Regular Yogurt or Dahi
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Dill Leaves
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsely + For Garnish
  • 6 Large Cloves Garlic
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pepper Powder To Taste I used white pepper powder
  • Salt To Taste
Instructions
  1. Grind 2 Cups of Cucumber, Dill, Parsley, Garlic, and 4 tbsp Olive Oil into a coarse paste.
  2. Beat the yogurt till it is smooth.
  3. Add the ground cucumber paste, ½ cup cucumber pieces and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper powder.
  5. Cover and chill for 6 to 8 hours.
  6. Just before serving, divide into 4 portions.
  7. Drizzle some Olive Oil onto each portion.
  8. Garnish with some Parsley.
  9. Serve chilled.

 

Cold Cucumber Soup Recipe

Matar ka Nimona – North Indian Style Pea Soup

Matar ka Nimona - Recipe from Banaras or Benaras in Uttar Pradesh

Winter means loads and loads of fresh Peas. I was planning to make Pea Soup when Matar Ka Nimona was suggested to me. I had eaten this wonderful soupy dish from Banaras (aka Varanasi or Kashi) many many years ago and had quite forgotten about it. So I jumped at the idea of making it. The next step was pestering Nikita Jhanglani (she of the Aani Basar fame) for some dried Mangauri to add to the Matar ka Nimona. 🙂

I surfed the internet for the recipe and found very many recipes and made a version that borrowed aspects of many of the recipes.

The result was a fresh and a mildly spiced dish that I had as a soup but is traditionally eaten with rice.

If you love peas, do also try the recipe for Chura Matar.

How to Make Matar ka Nimona

Matar ka Nimona - North Indian Style Pea Soup
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Matar ka Nimona is a soupy dish made with fresh peas. It can include other vegetables such as potatoes and cauliflower but I made a version that uses just peas and has fried Mangodi or Mangauris.
Course: Sides, Soup
Cuisine: Benaras, Indian, Uttar Pradesh
Servings: 4 Cups
Author: Aruna Panangipally
Ingredients
  • 1.5 Cups Fresh Peas
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1.5 tsp Grated Ginger
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1" Piece Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • Salt to Taste
Optional
  • Mangauri or Mangodi - 16 to 20 small ones
  • Oil to fry the Mangauri
Instructions
Method to Make Matar ka Nimona
  1. In a kadhai, heat enough oil to fry the mangauris.
  2. Fry the mangauris till golden brown and set aside on a kitchen tissue to drain excess oil.
  3. Grind the peas, green chillies, and ginger without any water to a coarse paste.
  4. In a kadhai, heat the ghee.
  5. Add the cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon and bay leaves.
  6. Stir-fry till the cumin seeds start to change colour.
  7. Add the green peas paste.
  8. Stir-fry till the raw smell of the peas paste disappears.
  9. Add 2 to 2.5 cups of water and salt.
  10. Mix well and simmer the Matar ka Nimona till it thickens a bit.
  11. Turn off the heat.
  12. Add the fried Mangauri and mix well.
  13. Serve hot with rice.
Recipe Notes

You could add a dash of turmeric. I did not add any.

Matar ka Nimona is best made with fresh peas or fresh green chana.

Matar ka Nimona - Recipe from Banaras or Benaras in Uttar Pradesh - Indian Style Green Peas Stew or Soup

Vegetable Manchow Soup – An Indo-Chinese Favourite

Vegetable or Vegetarian Manchow Soup - Indo-Chinese Recipe

I have been having this yearning for Indo-Chinese food all of last week and have been driving my colleagues at work batty with my flip-flops at lunch; I keep saying I want to order Chinese and then would chicken out at the last moment saying I want to stick to my diet. 😝

This weekend, however, I gave in to the temptation and made both Manchow Soup and Veg Hakka Noodles at home.

If there is one dish which is found on every Indo-Chinese menu along with Manchurian, it is Manchow Soup. I like this hearty soup because it has loads and loads of vegetable so it does not feels like a soup at all and feels more like a stew. As a result, Manchow Soup can be a meal in itself and I often do.

These are dishes that are familiar to Indians who have been eating India’s version of Chinese Food; especially from food vendors on the street. There was a time you could find Chinese Food Thelas (hand carts) at various street corners whipping up tasty delights in their steaming hot woks. Alas, that is no longer the case in an India that is slowly getting gentrified.

Manchow Soup is a load of shredded vegetables and flavoured with soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic and green chillies for taste. It is warming, nourishing AND low on calories. What more could one ask for!

To make it more filling you could add some boiled hakka noodles to it, or then be naughty and top it with fried hakka noodles like I did. 😀

Do you like Indo-Chinese cuisine? Do try these recipes:

How to Make Veg Manchow Soup

Vegetable Manchow Soup - An Indo-Chinese Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Manchow Soup is a mandatory part of any Indo-Chinese menu. I love it because it is chock-a-bloc with veggies and can be a meal by itself.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 50 Gms Cabbage
  • 50 Gms Purple Cabbage
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 1 Large Capsicum
  • 10 Mushrooms
  • 2 Spring Onions with Greens
  • 8 Garlic Cloves
  • 1" Ginger
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1.5 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp Corn Flour
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 3 Cups Water
  • Salt to Taste
For Garnish
  • 50 Gms Hakka Noodles
  • Oil for Frying the Hakka Noodles
Instructions
The Preparations for Manchow Soup
  1. Chop all vegetables to fine pieces. Keep the spring onion and its greens separate.
  2. Chop the ginger, garlic, and chillies to fine pieces as well.
  3. Dissolve 1.5 tbsp corn flour in 1/4 cup water. Set aside.
Method to Fry Hakka Noodles
  1. Boil the hakka noodles just to soften them.
  2. Leave in the colander to drain water completely.
  3. Sprinkle corn flour and mix well.
  4. Heat some oil.
  5. Deep fry noodles till they just start to turn brown.
  6. Remove from the oil and place on a kitchen tissue.
  7. Set aside.
Method to Make Manchow Soup
  1. In a pan, heat the oil.
  2. Add ginger, garlic and green chillies.
  3. Saute till the aromas are released.
  4. Add the spring onions. Do not add the spring onion greens at this stage.
  5. Stir-fry for a minute.
  6. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry to 1 minute.
  7. Add carrots and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  8. Add the capsicum and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  9. Add both the cabbages and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  10. Add spring onion greens and mix well.
  11. Add soy sauce and vinegar.
  12. Mix well.
  13. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
  14. Add 3 cups water.
  15. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  16. Add the corn flour paste and salt.
  17. Mix well and simmer till the Manchow Soup thickens a bit.
  18. Divide into 4 equal portions.
  19. Top with some fried Hakka noodles.
  20. Serve hot!
Recipe Notes

You could also add some boiled Hakka Noodles to the Soup to make it more hearty and a complete meal.

Vegetarian Manchow Soup

Roasted Carrot Soup – Healthy and Delicious

 

Roasted Carrot Soup

Well, I am on this binge of making soups with roasted vegetables. I posted the recipe for the Roasted Pumpkin Soup last year and have posted the recipe for Roasted Tomato Soup a few days ago. Today, I made Roasted Carrot Soup.

Actually, I have not limited myself to soups with roasted vegetables. I also made the Roasted Red Bell Pepper Chutney or Pachadi.

The Roasted Carrot Soup is not as sweet as the regular carrot soup and that is something that I (who likes savoury food) loved about it. I added a degree of creaminess to it while avoiding calories by using Hung Curd for garnish.

How to Make Roasted Carrot Soup

Roasted Carrot Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
 
With winters here, soups are always on the menu. This version of the Roasted Tomato Soup is easy to make and uses just onions and garlic.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 1 Kg Carrots
  • 1 Medium-sized Onion
  • 8 to 10 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt to Taste
  • Pepper to Taste
  • 4 tbsp Hung Card to Garnish Omit for Vegan version
Instructions
Method to Make the Roasted Carrot Soup
  1. Lightly oil a baking tray.
  2. Pre-heat an oven to 150°C.
  3. Peel and cut the carrots into 1/4"discs.
  4. Peel and cut the onions into large chunks.
  5. Do not peel the garlic cloves.
  6. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, unpeeled garlic pods and onions.
  7. Ensure that the onions and garlic are covered with the olive oil.
  8. Remove the onions and garlic from the oil and set aside.
  9. Toss the carrot discs in the remaining oil. Add a little more oil, if required.
  10. Place the carrot discs on the oiled tray.
  11. Do not place the onions and garlic on the tray at this moment.
  12. Place the tray in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 10 minutes. The carrot discs should just start browning.
  13. Now scatter the oil-tossed onions and garlic cloves among the tomatoes.
  14. Continue to roast in the oven till the carrot pieces start to brown just a bit and the onion and garlic starts to char a bit.
  15. Remove from the oven and let the vegetables cool a bit.
  16. Remove the garlic cloves and press then between the thumb and index finger to remove the peel.
  17. Save the tray in which the vegetables were roasted because it has all the juices and a bit of the oil.
  18. Grind the roasted carrots, onions, and garlic into a thick paste with a little water.
  19. Add about 2 to 3 cups of water and salt.
  20. Blend well.
  21. Boil the Roasted Carrot Soup to thicken it a bit.
  22. Divide into four equal portions.
  23. Top with the juices from the roasting pan.
  24. Season with pepper, if required.
  25. Top with a generous dollop of hung curd.
  26. Serve hot!
Recipe Notes

Do not add the onions and garlic to the roasting pan along with the carrots in the beginning. If you do, they will char and burn as they do not need to much time to roast.

There is a load of flavour in the oil and juices left behind on the pan. It lends a wonderful flavour to the soup.

I sometimes mop up the juices with small pieces of toasted bread and use these as croutons in the soup.

 

Roasted Carrot Soup - 1