23 January 2007
One look at the soup bubbling in the saucepan and I said 'Red Sea'. It was literally a bubbling red sea, not the dark orange colour of a good tomato soup. Or you could call it the anti-oxidant rich soup. Made with ingredients that are three different shades of red, this is as much fun as mixing colours and filling a canvas.
I've been on a diet and exercise regimen for the last few weeks that is showing great results, which is why I haven't been posting much off late ( besides some serious writing deadlines). I know this is a sensitive spot, my dear friends, but would you care to share with me, how many of you have gained weight since you started food blogging?
Frantic bookmarks here and there, discovering one beauty of a blog after the other all spell doom for those who are trying to shed some. ( I've discovered Chocolate & Zucchini - one of the earliest blogs around and man - it is addicting, and then there is Humble Pie - our new member at Daily Tiffin with her homely blog) But I can't deny that 2006 has been a most memorable year other than 2004 ofcourse. The year of food blogging, where I discovered a whole new world, new foods, new friends and offering food to the camera first.
Back to the soup -this healthy recipe is low fat, low cal and filled with the right kind of calories. Try it and you'll agree that it doesn't taste lowcal at all.
Category: Soup, Low cal, Fast and healthy
Time taken: Under 30 minutes
Recipe source: My own
Makes 3 large bowls
3 large tomatoes - roughly diced
2 large carrots - scrubbed and sliced
1/2 medium beet- peeled and sliced
4-5 cloves of garlic - peeled
1 tsp dried basil
1 green chilli / Jalapeno pepper chopped (optional)
4 cups water
1 tbsp chick pea flour / wheat flour / corn flour
1 tsp olive oil / cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves to garnish
In a pressure cooker / pan, heat 1 tsp of oil. Throw in the garlic cloves. After a few seconds, transfer in all chopped vegetables along with dried basil and chopped green chilli.
Saute this mix for a minute or so. Add 2 cups water and a tsp of salt. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles and then keep the flame on Sim for 3-4 minutes. Idea is, to cook it to a mush. (In case you don't have a pressure cooker, you can microwave this or boil it for 30-45 minutes to achieve the mushed up consistency)
Once the cooker has cooled, drain the contents through a colander. Reserve the liquid. Put in the vegetable mush into a blender with some water to make a very fine puree.
Empty the puree into a saucepan, add the reserved liquid and remaining 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
Dissolve the flour used in a few tbsp of fresh water and pour it into the boiling soup to thicken it further.
After simmering for a couple of minutes, remove the saucepan from heat. Check for salt. Season with some freshly ground black pepper and garnish with fresh basil leaves from your kitchen garden. I did my first little basil harvest for this soup. It is a wonderful feeling.
Serve with a salad or a slice of nice crusty bread for a light dinner.
The sweetness of the carrots and beet finely balances the tartness from the tomatoes. Garlic and basil add their respective characters to make a wonderfully nourishing soup, just right to enjoy the bit of winter we are experiencing in this part of the world.
Ideas from the morning after:
Sitting in the fridge, this one thickens a bit and I realise I can actually use it as a sauce to roll in some spaghetti or use it as a spread on a slice of bread. If it doesn't come across as that thick to you, by all means thicken it up a bit by boiling it with some more flour and you have a wonderful red sauce on hand. Then, let your imagination take over...