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, although it is Mid Summer, it is cooler and wet. It seems right to make soup, although Pumpkin Soup is usually reserved for Winter. This is a South Indian Soup, and the lightness of it suits our Summery wet weather.
Although the South Indian soups are not well known or recognised, I have a love of them which started when they were served each day for 2 weeks in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Home made and delicious, it was instant love. Luckily the Cook and See series of books has a chapter on Indian Soups in Part 4 by Priya Ramkumar.
This soup is a little thinner than what you might expect from a European Pumpkin Soup, but has a creamy texture because the milk is condensed slightly by simmering for 10 mins. It is peppery indeed, but not as peppery as you might think from the amount in the soup. It also has a little sweetness from the pumpkin and from condensing the milk – that sweetens it a little. I love the soup garnished with coriander leaves.
You might like to have a look at other Indian soups. We have South Indian Vegetable Soup, Green Amaranth Soup, South Indian Cauliflower Soup, South Indian Beetroot Soup, and Tomato and Potato Soup. There is also a wonderful Indian Vegetable Stock to use as a base for soups or to slurp on its own. All of our Indian Soups are here.
Other similar recipes include Italian Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers, Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley, and Cream of Pumpkin Soup.
See other Pumpkin Soup recipes here. All of our Indian Soups are here for you to browse, and our whole range of Soups here. Other Indian dishes are here. Or take some time and explore our Mid Summer recipes.
This is our second Baby Corn Soup; this one includes green beans for added crunch and fresh taste. It is another soup from Vol 4 of Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See, written by her daughter Priya Ramakumar. They are reminiscent of, say, 1970’s style soups – simple, no fuss, delicious. many of them (but not this one) are Anglo-Indian. I adore them – they are such a contrast to other elements of Indian cuisine.
As explained in previous posts, Soups as we know them are uncommon in India. But in South Indian, the TamBram community does make some very simple and un-spiced soups, probably influenced by the British, and perfect for using up left over odds and sods of vegetables.
Rather than being served in large bowls like we might serve a soup, it is served in small bowls, unaccompanied by crusty bread, grated cheese, olive oil for drizzling, or croutons. Actually, it is a really nice beginning to a hot and spicy meal.
Several of the soups in this volume of Cook and See show the growing love for Chinese food in India at the time that the volume of recipes was written. The nod to Chinese fare is created by a drizzle of soy sauce on top of the soup. Baby corn, after all, is associated (probably incorrectly) in many countries as being quintessential Chinese. This Indo-Chinese cuisine is very popular.
Baby corn is available at most Asian Grocery shops.
Have you ever before seen serve hot with soy sauce as an instruction for a soup? Well, now you have. In this Green Pea Soup recipe from Tamil Nadu, South India, that is exactly the serving suggestion. South Indian soups are unspiced but flavoursome soups that are probably hang-overs from the British occupation. Somehow they have snuck into parts of the South Indian cuisine. This one has a slight Indo-Chinese influence – thickened with cornflour and topped with soy sauce.
In my experience, South Indian soups are served in small amounts. I have had them both before a main meal and after, so traditions must vary across South India.
This soup is made from peas, carrots and cauliflower, and thickened slightly with cornflour. It’s delicious, in a 1970’s sort of way. I love it.
Are you looking for other Indian Soups? Try Indian Potato and Tomato Soup, South Indian Beetroot Soup, South Indian Summery Tomato Soup, South Indian Baby Corn Soup, and South Indian Cauliflower Soup.
You can also browse all of our South Indian Soups, and all of our Indian Soups. Or have a look at our Pea recipes. Perhaps you would like to explore all Indian dishes. Or maybe all of our Soups. Or simply take some time to have a look at our Late Spring dishes.
Spring Onion Soup is less common than, say Onion Soup, but it isn’t unusual. It is delicious with a different taste to the long-cooked onions in Onion Soup. The base of the soup is made with potatoes which gives the soup some texture. This recipe also uses cream and a flour roux to add body to the soup, sticking with the usual simplicity of the soups from Vol 4 of Cook and See, the addendum to Meenakshi Ammal’s triology, this one written by Priya Ramkumar.
I do love exploring the soups in this volume. Theoretically, reading them op paper, they should not be worth making. Compared to other Soups that we usually make, they are so very simple, sort of 1950’s simple. But they are always amazingly good. Simple, unspiced or simply spiced, their flavours are unusual and unexpected.
I have spoken about South Indian Soups before – so gentle, just with the flavour of the vegetable, no chilli and little other spice. I am even more convinced that they are a left-over from the time of the British occupation (I have just read The Complete Indian Housemaker and Cook, written for British women spending time in India during the time of occupation). But nevertheless, I love these soups because of their quaintness, and perhaps because they remind me of the soups my mother made when I was but a wee girl.
Are you after other South Indian Soups? Try Spring Onion and Green Pea Soup, South Indian Beetroot Soup, South Indian Green Pea Soup, South Indian Summery Tomato Soup, and South Indian Cauliflower Soup.
Or a Spring Onion recipe? Try Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onion.
If you want to browse all Indian Soups, they are here. Or have a look at our Spring Onion recipes. Perhaps you would like to explore all Indian dishes. Or maybe all of our Soups. Or simply take some time to have a look at our Mid Autumn dishes.
This uncomplicated soup is nourishing, comforting and warming, with no other flavours except cauliflower, potato, and black pepper.
South Indian soups need some explaining. The are quite diametrically opposed to dishes that could be called soups but are not – rasam, for example, or thin dhal, or even a sambar. For the most part, the true South Indian Soup is a simple, uncomplicated vegetable soup that is not spiced. Thus the vegetable becomes the feature, not the layers of spices. There is no artifice in these soups at all.
Presumably, these soups are of Anglo-Indian origin and have gained enough popularity to become part of the cuisine, or perhaps they are the result of the occupation of regions by other countries, namely France and Portugal. In many ways they are a little 1950’s, yet beautiful in their pared back simplicity
This uncomplicated Cauliflower Soup is nourishing, comforting and warming, with no other flavours except cauliflower, potato, and black pepper.
Are you after other Indian Soups? Try Indian Vegetable Soup with Cumin, Indian Potato and Tomato Soup South Indian Spring Onion Soup, Indian Tomato and Potato Soup, Tomato, Lemongrass and Ginger Soup, and Tomato and Dal Soup.
Perfect for Summery days. Yoghurt is a cooling ingredient.
Salt Lassi in the traditional Sth Indian style is a perfect drink for hot days, and although not as popular as the sweet lassi and fruit lassi drinks, they suit hot weather perfectly. Made from yoghurt, salt and spices, they are cooling and nourishing while replacing salts and electrolytes commonly lost during hot weather.
This is a recipe from the Cook and See series of 4 books of traditional Indian cooking, mostly written by Menakshi Ammal. They are a maze of traditional knowledge about Sth Indian cooking. The fourth volume is written by Priya Ramkumar and is a puzzle as its soups and salads are devoid of spices and are, to my mind, more 1960’s English in nature than traditional Tamil/Sth Indian. But in that mix are some great recipes including a good, solid recipe for Salt Lassi in the traditional South Indian style.