Another lovely South Indian soup from the Cook and See series of books. Vol 4 of these books is by Priya Ramkumar, Meenakshi Ammal’s granddaughter. It is simpler than the other volumes, introducing recipes of the early 2000’s rather than the traditional fare of the 1950’s. I love the soups, as simple and easy as they are. Today’s is Vegetable Soup – vegetables are cooked till tender then coarsely mashed before being served with some cream swirled through.
Today’s recipe is another Pumpkin Soup. This one is Italian in origin, with potatoes and cannellini beans. It is a beautiful and velvety soup.
Actually, I am famous amongst my friends and family for Soupe au Potiron and it remains my favourite Pumpkin Soup! However, I also love a little variety. Make today’s recipe in very cold weather, and enjoy it with crisp crunchy bread! This recipe has been around in our Winter kitchen for many, many years, and the original inspiration came from the River Cafe Cookbook.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can find other recipes from that blog in our Retro Recipes series.
Gorgeous, hardly spiced, easy to make, delicious. I am not sure that I can say any more. It’s a great dish for Navarathri.
Two of the special yams in India are Elephant Yam, and Elephant Foot Yam. Sadly, these two often get confused, even by Indian bloggers and writers. It took me quite a while and lots of conversations to sort the two out.
This Masiyal can be made with either of the two yams. I am using frozen yam as fresh ones are not available here. Its a surprising dish, incredibly delicious.
If you have any more information about these yams, please share.
This recipe is from Meenakshi Ammal in Vol 1 of her books Cook and See. The dish is made with toor dal (red gram dal) but uses lime juice instead of tamarind. Lemon juice works too, due to the same word being used for both fruits in India it is often difficult to tell which is intended. Both work well in most dishes. I like lime because it gives a tropical spark to dishes.
Oh deep fried tofu! Sssshh, don’t tell tofu-haters how good deep fried tofu is! I think we should keep it to ourselves. Deep frying changes the soft mushy texture of tofu to a crispy outer skin with a pillow soft inner. If you are drooling already, have a look at this deep fried tofu with a peanut sauce. Sensational.
This recipe takes some deep fried tofu and cooks it with sweet potatoes in a coconut green curry broth, and then serves it with noodles and coriander leaves. It is typically S. E. Asian, like the curries of Thailand and Malaysia. I also make it as one of my Miso Soup options, adding a little more broth to the ingredients. Miso Soup with Sweet Potato, Tofu and Noodles.
Kohlrabi is sort of surreal looking – a knobbly bulb with purple and green leaves sprouting from it. Actually a member of the cabbage family, the bulb is really a swollen stem. Kohlrabi is great eaten raw (shredded in salads), cooked, roasted or pureed. It has certainly gained in popularity recently. Here we puree it to form a creamy Wintery soup.
When you are buying kohlrabi, choose fresh looking bulbs as they have a sweet and delicate flavour. It needs good peeling, as it has a double skin. Try using a knife rather than a potato peeler.
Potato soup is so good, don’t you agree? A winter staple, especially with leeks. Yet I always smile inside when I think about making it, or read about it, or someone mentions it. Potato can be so gluey when overworked – a horrid gluggy mess as the starch is overworked. One has to be careful.
Yet there is no denying the perfect nature of a good potato soup. You know, I have mentioned before, that Indian Soups are rare but not unknown. Indeed they are seemingly becoming more common, due to the increased exposure to Western and other cuisines no doubt. Probably originally a response to British occupation, even Meekakshi Ammal mentions them. Madhur Jaffrey too.
This recipe is a riff on one of Ms Jaffrey’s. While I wince at the way she has tailored recipes to meet the availability of produce and the taste of the British, I have to admit that her dishes never disappoint. Not quite traditional Indian food, but close enough, and closer to British Indian, a cuisine in its own right.
Anyway, enjoy this soup – it is delicious.
The earthy flavours of spinach, chickpeas and barley come together in this Winter dish which is Turkish in style. A soup, it is full of comfort, nourishment and hope for the future. Are you with me in your love for Winter soups? And with everything that is going on in the world at the moment, we need a little hope for the future. The inspiration for this came from Turquoise, a special book about Turkish cuisine.
Today there is another Rasam to add to our series exploring the different types of Rasam. This one has a slight toor dal base, uses sambar powder, and uses lime juice for a tangy, digestion promoting, delicious dish. There are four different ways of making Lime Rasam, according to the Queen of Tamil Food, Meenakshi Ammal. This is the second of her methods.
We are pursuing the Rasams Chapter in Meenakshi Ammal’s books Cook and See as they are traditional Tamil recipes. Although we are not afraid to step away from the tree, going back to very traditional recipes (that can still be made in the modern kitchen) is an important way to get the hang of traditional as well as modern methods and flavour combinations. I hope you feel the same.
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In 1990, Le Crueset published a book called French Country Kitchen, and it is still one of the best recipe books I have for simple but authentic French recipes. I spent quite some time working in France, so this is a go-to book when I am feeling nostalgic about French people, food, cheese, wine, and their habit of sitting observing the day. Sadly, most of the book is non-veg, but the Soups, Salads, Vegetable and Hor d’Oeuvres chapters provide just enough vegetarian recipes to justify its place in the cookbook bookshelves.
It is Spring time right now, with all of it’s changeable weather, and we have had storms for the past week. I suddenly had a yearning for soup. This easy soup from the Le Crueset book is perfect. Beans are soaked, simmered with leeks and herbs, and then pureed with cream.
The recipe specifies flageolet beans – when I began cooking with these beans in the 1980’s they were available locally but a recent hunt for them failed to locate any. They can be purchased online, dried or canned, but are rather expensive here. It seems that they are grown in Australia and are very popular (!!) but that might be an exaggeration. So I substitute any white bean that I currently have in the pantry.