South Indian Amaranth Leaves Soup with Tamarind

Amaranth is loved across India (and features strongly in a range of Asian cuisines). All parts are used – the seeds are well known outside India, and at the moment they are fashionable and quite popular. But in India the leaves are also used, and the young, tender stems as well.

Amaranth leaves are available in Asian shops so keep an eye out for them. There are different varieties – some are green, but others often contain a tinge of red. Beautiful indeed.

Meenakshi Ammal in her cookbooks Cook and See mentions Amaranth leaves and stems a lot in her sections on sambars and kuzhambu recipes. This recipe she calls (in English) Greens Soup with Tamarind and it sits in the chapter of Poritha Kuzhambu. It is an unusual name given that soups are not traditionally part of the Tamil cuisine (although they are popular more recently). I wonder if the name in Tamil is quite different. However, she certainly got the colour correct!

This recipe is a cousin to this one of the same name. While that one uses Pitlay spices but not a tadka, this recipe uses sambar powder with a tadka. Both are pretty special and you should try them both. This one is closer to this Poritha Koottu with Tamarind.

Would  you like more Kuzhambu recipes? First, check our Poritha Kuzhambu dishes and Poritha Kootu recipes. Then try Moar Kuzhambu, Lentil Balls in a Spicy Gravy, and Vatral Kuzhambu.

Some popular Indian Soups include South Indian Cauliflower Soup, Two Gentle Mung Dal Soups, and A Light, Summery Tomato Soup.

But why not browse all of our Kuzhambu recipes, and all Indian Soups? Or explore our Amaranth dishes, and our complete Indian Recipe Collection. Or take some time to check out our easy Early Autumn dishes.

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Spring Onion and Pea Soup

Spring onions are relatively easy to grow and so we always have plenty of them. They go into everything in the peaks seasons – dips, salads, soups, my miso bowls, with noodles, with pasta, you name it, we put spring onions into it.

We have made Spring Onion Soup before, a South Indian one, gentle and unspiced. So it was interesting to find a recipe for a similar soup. I suspect that leeks would also work well in this recipe.  It is a lovely soup, lighter than the chickpea soups we have been cooking lately. Both whites and greens of the onions are used; they are sauteed with peas, zucchini and LOTS of garlic, and then blended with the stock. You might think that the garlic will overwhelm the dish, but the flavour mellows with the cooking.

This is an Ottolenghi recipe, and he uses a product from Iran called kashk. Kashk, or kishk, is produced by the fermentation and drying of yoghurt or curdled milk, to form a powder that can later be reconstituted. Iranian kashk is used to bulk up soups, giving them a wonderfully deep and sharp aroma, a bit like feta but in runny form. But don’t worry if you can’t get hold of kashk – a mixture of crème fraîche and grated parmesan (or other mature cheese) is a good substitute.

It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

Similar recipes include South Indian Spring Onion Soup, and Steamed Eggplants with Spring Oni0ns.

Browse all of our Soups. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Yoghurt and Barley Soup

In India, yoghurt curries are very common – yoghurt heated gently and flavoured with spices. In the Middle East, yoghurt is used for soups, and they are also incredibly delicious.

This soup has bite and substance thanks to the handful of pearl barley. The creamy yoghurt and a wealth of spices makes this is a such a nourishing bowl.

Try similar recipes – Turkish Cacik, Pineapple Curry with Yoghurt Sauce, and Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings.

Barley Soups include Farmhouse Barley Soup and Parsnip and Barley Soup with Garlic and Sage.

Browse all of our Yoghurt recipes and all of our Barley dishes. All of our Soups are here. Middle Eastern delicious recipes can be found here. Or browse all of our Mid Winter dishes.

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Lentil, Barley and Vegetable Soup

Soup Mix is a packet mix of barley, dried peas and various lentils that is easily available in supermarkets. It it not something I would normally buy, but my Father had a couple of bags in his pantry and I inherited them.

During a particularly cold snap, they were used to make a hearty and creamy vegetable soup. It is a soup that is warming and delicious. It also freezes very well.

The soup’s secrets are – the inclusion of fennel with leeks, onions and celery. Fennel is rarely included in soups yet it goes so well with lentils and beans. We have an extraordinary Dried Fava Soup that uses fennel in its base. The second secret is that half of the lentil-barley mix is cooked separately and blended to a puree before including in the soup. This gives the soup a beautiful creamy texture.

Healthy and utterly delicious, this soup is beautiful on a cold Wintery evening. Pair it with Parmesan Toasts if you wish, or with Polenta Crisps.

Similar recipes include Yoghurt and Barley Soup, Du Puy Lentil Soup, Red Lentil and Garlic Soup, and Vegetable and Barley Soup.

Browse all of our Soups and all of our Lentils Soups. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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30 Soups for Early Spring

Oh the joy at the arrival of Spring. But truth be told, despite longer days and gorgeous gardens, the weather is in transition and can still be quite cold.

Our soups for this season straddle the heartier soups that reflect our transition from Winter, and the fresher, herb laden soups that echo the emergence of Spring.

To help you on your way with stocks for your soups, here are the ones that we use the most

Now that you have your Spring menu organised, let’s get cooking! Many of these soups will freeze well.

Here are 30 of our best Soups for Early Spring.

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Velouté d’asperges | Cream of Asparagus Soup

This soup, so they say, is reminiscent of the creations of the 18th century French grande cuisine. Asparagus was introduced by the Italians during the Renaissance, and was part of a change in eating habits that saw vegetables introduced into grande cuisine. Previously they had been considered the food of peasants.

This soup is thick, smooth and delicate as well as utterly delicious. It is simple to make with easily accessible ingredients. It is the perfect soup for year-round enjoyment, as it can be served cold in Summer and hot in Winter.  We’ve been making this soup since the early 2000’s.

The soup can also be made quickly and easily in any high speed blender that also heats foods as it blends. I have given the instructions for making it this way as well as the usual, stove-top method. In the blender it takes around 15 mins, including cooking the asparagus. When you are using the high speed blender (mine is a Vitamix), then there are no worries about stringy stalks on the asparagus – all is blended into a smooth, perfect soup.

Similar recipes include Spring Onion and Green Pea Soup, Chilled Asparagus Soup, Gentle Asparagus Soup, and Asparagus Raita.

Check out our collection of:

Browse all of our other Asparagus Soup recipes, our Asparagus recipes, and our French dishes. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Creamy Parsnip Soup with Curry Spices

Parsnips take to spices very well, especially in soups, as our two recipes for Parsnip Soup attest – Roasted Parsnip Soup with Spices  and A Magical Parsnip and Carrot Soup with Garlic.

But sometimes you don’t want to mess around with spices, so this quick soup uses a curry paste or curry powder – which ever one you have on hand. Just be careful to test the heat levels and adjust the amount that you add to the soup.

You can roast the parsnips before making the soup if you like. It will add a depth of Wintery flavour to the soup. But if you are just home from a long day at work, it is perfectly fine to omit roasting.

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Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho

Cold soup is a treasure of Summer weather. Some countries (eg India and the Middle East) have a whole cuisine of cold drinks that are sipped in the extreme weather of the hottest periods of the year, and countries such as Spain have a cuisine of cold soups to slurp in similar weather. Here, we have neither although our weather in Summer equals or exceeds that of those countries. It is a puzzle why that is.

Never fear, here in our little patch of Australia, both cold soups and cold drinks prevail in hot weather.  From the simplest (juice tomatoes with a tiny piece of chill, serve as a soup with basil, spring onions, black pepper, sea salt) to beautiful but out of fashion vichyssoise varieties.

Today we make a Gazpacho style soup with watermelon as well as tomato. It is delicious on a hot Summer evening, eating on the deck or verandah with friends and family. Serve as a soup, or even as a savoury drink, like you might serve a tomato juice – leave the bread out if you are going to serve it this way. Sipped or slurped, it is wonderful.

This is an Ottolenghi recipe, from Plenty More, although I have added some cucumber back into the recipe. I love its juice and can’t imagine a gazpacho without it. It makes a difference. Sometimes, I have also added the juice of zucchinis (surprisingly delicious and cooling) in the past too, because I had a glut of them, and it is delicious. It is such a light and delicious soup, and easy to make – you will want to make it all Summer.

In fact, it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Coriander and Lemongrass VichyssoiseGazpacho,  and Cold Avocado Soup.

Browse all of our Cold Soups and all of our Tomato Soups. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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A Collection of 31 Soups for Mid Winter

Brrrrr, turn the heater up, it is so cold! Bundled up, we go about our daily business, thinking of hot soups and warming food, hot ovens and warm kitchens. Mid Winter can make winter feel like it is never ending.

Let me help you with some soups to bring both warmth and delight to your table. Take the stock out of the freezer, survey your pantry and make a soup each and every day of Mid Winter.

To help you on your way with stocks for your soups, here are the ones that we use the most

Now that you have your Winter menu organised, let’s get cooking! Most of these soups will freeze well.

Here are 30 of our best Soups for Early Winter.

Continue reading “A Collection of 31 Soups for Mid Winter”

Burnt Aubergine and Mograbieh Soup

Mograbieh is a gorgeous large couscous, one of several varieties available around the Mediterranean and Middle East that includes maftoul, fregola, giant couscous, pearl couscous and Israeli couscous. They are generally widely available – some in supermarkets but the best in Middle Eastern groceries. Although there are differences, they can be interchanged in many recipes.

This recipe is a delightful and unusual soup – who has heard of eggplant soup before? Today we have one for you. It is Israeli in origin, and features in Tamimi and Ottolenghi’s book Jerusalem. The texture is from the mograbieh and fried eggplant, and the smooth soup base is char-roasted eggplant and tomatoes.

It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking mainly from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Mograbieh and Artichoke Pilaf, Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf with Broad Beans, and Couscous Lunches.

Browse our Eggplant recipes. Mograbieh dishes, and our Soups. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Burnt Aubergine and Mograbieh Soup”