23 January 2007

Red Soup

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.

Red soup with basil freshly harvested from my kitchen garden

Red soup
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...



Hema said...

Hmmm this looks so good. I can almost smell it. So its beet that gives it this color. Nice recipe. Will definitely try it out. Thanks!

Gini said...

I was the person who was all over the place trying to gain weight, and nothing worked. And then I tried food blogging and gained about 10 pounds. Still thin by Indian standards, but I am happy where I am.
'Offering food to the camera first'- true and hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Hey Nandita,
The soup looks divine and that wonderful red color, Oh! just out of this world. I am surprised to see the use of chick pea flour in the soup... interesting, very creative.
Thanks a lot for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thank god Nandita!!! .....i was searching for a healthy low cal soup ...ur recipes looks delicious ...thnx for sharing!!!

janaki said...

Hey nandita... C&Z was my inspiration to start blogging as well. :) I've discovered another low cal soup... Cook up cubes of doodhi, tomato and onions(if you want).. with pepper. Once cooked, run a hand mixer through it, thicken if you want and of course add some salt.. and gulp it down. It's hot, hearty and with absolutely no oil...

Nandita said...

Thanks for the tip! C&Z is absolutely fantastic. Hey what's your blog link??

Hema, Haripriya and Nidhi- Glad you liked it and hope you'll try it out soon.

Gilly - welcome to my blog...and thanks for sharing your secret, I wasnt wrong after all :)

Spicelover said...

Hi Nandita
Congrats on the fitness (weight loss as assuming) progress. I started food blogging during my maternity leave. Now can there be any worse time? All the pictures of the mouthwatering desserts. BUt then I'm the kind who buys cookbooks just to drool over the pictures. If I was not as lazy and actually managed to cook from all those recipes I would be a different size now.
Soup looks good. Perfect diet food with a slice of bread.
Good luck... and thx for reminding me that I need to resume working out too.

Anonymous said...

mouthwatering soup...I can smell the scent fron here...~smile~...I gotta make it...thanks for sharing...take care

Anonymous said...

Wow, great blog and wonderful pictures.. the soup looks so delicious... I recently started blogging and been lurking around looking at all the wonderful foodie blogs out there! You are so right, diet and food blogging won't go together, just looking at these pictures made me want to go get a snack!

Ashwini said...

Gawd N, you had to bring it up didnt you? Hrmmpphhh
I am on a regimen myself...nothing strict because I want it to last :-)
Do share other tips with us...lovvve the soup. Thanks

Nandita said...

Hey Ashwini,
Looks like i've stirred something here Hehehe - its so tough, you find something good on a blog, you want to try. Once you've made it, you wanna taste it, once tasted you wanna EAT it. It's one hell of a vicious circle. I just tried C&Z's yogurt cake and someone help me now, coz its tasting delicious. Wait till I post it on my blog Haha

Shall share some tips with you soon

Linda said...

Hi Nandita, red soup looks wonderful with all those good veggies. I wanted to tell you thanks for the great kaala chana recipe -- I have made it several times now and it only gets better :)

Best wishes from Massachusetts!

Sushma said...

I love soups and also like you trying to maintain health as I do food blogging :-).
I also posted a tomato lentil soup recently. Liked your version very much and would definitely make it soon
Thanxs for sharing

Inji Pennu said...

Wow the look of your blog has been changed. Looks very nice. I didnt gain weight by food blogging but my cuisine has changed considerably

desigirl said...

Ha ha! When I read 'tips for the morning after', I thought this was some miracle hangover cure as well!!!

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