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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.