22 February 2008

Announcing my other blog and the Aunt inspired soup series


Heartfelt thanks to your warm, kind and soothing words. I do feel glad I shared my feelings with my blog sisters - you are a wonderful bunch of people. And now I keep my promise of sharing with you my positivity blog - I've called it The Feel Good Blog. Every little thing that makes me feel good, everything I'm grateful for will go in here. It's just two posts old, so you haven't missed too much. Please bookmark this site and I would love you to share with me all things that make you smile. It's my little endeavor to share happiness and the feel-good feeling that we can all do with.


So much for my health conscious cooking, I wonder why I was so step-motherly to soups until now. It's just like when you never get down to doing something, it's so out of your mind anyway. My soup reminder came when I was at my mom's place for a while. My mom gave me the gossip that Aunt G has been making soup each evening at 6 - and each day it's a new soup, something like Soup of the Day in those nice little cafes. This was enough to spike my interest. And when she said yesterday's Soup of the Day was Cucumber soup, I told her let's go, check on Aunt G now!

My mom's sister and my granny live a couple of buildings away, and it goes without saying that when I'm there, I drop by my aunt's house in the evenings to catch up on what's happening (what's cooking rather). She's one of the most innovative cooks in the family and she's always upto something interesting in the kitchen. At least most the times, lets say! So that evening, it was a tomato-carrot-lentil soup. OK, so I stole the lentil idea for my soup from her, but hey mine is a more exotic combination. See below.

By the way, if you end up trying my recipe below, please tell me if you didn't go WOW on seeing the colour of the soup, when it came out of the blender! Do NOT forget.

Just to show you the colour - Yeah I know the photo is terrible, but blame it on the lack of practise, the steam and the shaky hand.



Soup of the Day - 1
Category - Soup, Quick dinner, No fat
Time to table - Under 20 minutes
Serves - One greedy person


Ingredients
1 cup packed spinach leaves, washed thoroughly
1 medium beet, peeled and cubed
1 small carrot, cubed
1/2 cup cooked yellow lentils (tur dal)
1 medium tomato, quartered
Seasonings - see below


Directions
  1. In a pan, place 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, throw in the beets and carrots. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, till the veggies are nearly tender. Then add in the spinach leaves and tomatoes, covering and cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Drain the veggies and let cool. Reserve the drained liquid.
  3. In a blender, puree the tender veggies, cooked lentils till very smooth.
  4. Remove this in the same pan with the reserved liquid, add some water to thin out the soup if you wish. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Serve into a large soup bowl. Season with lots of pepper, pinch of salt and some lemon zest (and a dot of Amul butter too)


Nutrition notes
  • My aunt likes to add some milk in the end to most soups, to give them a creamy taste and also to get an interesting colour. However I am against mixing dairy with green leafy vegetables as it makes iron absorption difficult.
  • The lentils gave a nice body and an different dimension of mellowed out taste to the soup. You can use any leftover cooked lentils, or anything you've reserved in the freezer.
  • In my opinion, lemon zest gives a nice flavour when beets are used, as they give a sharp edge to the metallic taste of beets and spinach.
  • A trial proved that people who start their meal with a low cal soup, ended up consuming 20% less in the entire meal. This kind of reduced food (calorie) intake over a period of time, can help reduce weight or maintain lost weight. This is actually true in my case. I had this soup for dinner with two slices of whole wheat bread, toasted, and I had no appetite to eat any more.
Coming up soon are more healthy soups. I've already made 3 different types this week - yoohoo!!!

Sorry about the silence

Life is a roller coaster ride...you have the peaks of bliss and happiness and then the troughs where you feel like all the hopes & dreams have crashed like waves on rocks, reduced to nothingness.

The last one odd month has been one such trough for us, which has taken every fiber of mental strength to stay in one piece and not get shattered by the shock rendered by destiny. It felt very futile to cook, eat and write about it, hence the silence here.

Being a public space, I cannot share with you what exactly went wrong, but I can only say this, that with prayers, love, good wishes from relatives, friends and loved ones, we are slowly recovering, which means we are beginning to cook and eat again - which also means I will not starve my beloved readers anymore.
Thank you for your patience and continued support, I will resume blogging very soon (in a day or so) - besides I am even toying with the idea of starting a personal blog dedicated to positivity, gratitude and well being. You will be surely updated on that when it happens.

Meanwhile, you can read about dear husband's food experience in a recent visit to New York city here. [I'm doing this even at the risk of losing out readers to his definitely-more-gripping writing style! Hahaa] Based on what he's told me, those of you in and around NYC must try out this Asian-Cuban fusion food at Asia de Cuba. He also got me some amazing gifts, any food blogger / food enthusiast will love to get their hands on, which I shall share with you in my subsequent posts :)