Is the winter chill making you dull and weary? Get up and make yourself a bowl of hot soup. From ­pleasing your taste buds to pepping up your mood, soup can help you kill the winter slump in a jiffy.
Loaded with nutrients and anti-oxidants, soup also serves as comfort food when you are down with cold, cough or fever. And if you are on a weight loss diet, soups make for some guilt-free ­indulgence, ­provided you leave the cream and ­cornflour out. You can also turn your bowl of soup into a small feast by just throwing in some meat, chicken, ­seafood of your choice, pasta or rice. Nothing can beat ­homemade soups when it comes to fresh flavours and nutritional value. Here are some recipes from experts to suit your ­different moods.
Canarian Seafood Broth
Ingredients: 100 gm fresh salmon fillet, 4 nos scallops, 50 gm shrimps, 8 nos prawn, 100 gm sea bass, 50 gm tomato (blanched and diced), 50 gm zucchini, 2 gm chilli flakes, few strands of saffron, 25 ml pernod, 6-8 basil leaves, 800 ml fish stock, salt and white Pepper to taste, dill leaves for garnish, 25 gm garlic (chopped), 50 gm onion (chopped)
Method: In a heavy bottom sauce pan, add olive oil and sauté chopped onion and garlic till translucent. Add all the seafood and sauté for few ­seconds. Add chilli flakes, zucchini and deglaze it with pernod. Add fish stock, chopped tomatoes, saffron and simmer for a few minutes. Torn some basil leaves and add to the simmering soup. Serve hot with garnish of dill sprig.
By Chef Neeraj Tyagi, The Claridges
Pumpkin And Coconut Shorba
Ingredients: 250 gm pumpkin, 50 ml coconut milk, 5 gm onion (chopped), 10 gm ginger (chopped), 10 gm garlic (chopped), 3 gm green chilli (chopped), 3 gm fennel seeds, 1 no star anise, salt to taste, sugar (optional), crispy bacon (optional)
Method: In a heavy bottom pan, take roughly chopped red pumkin, onion, ginger, garlic, fennel seeds and star anise. Cover with water and simmer on slow heat till pumpkin is tender. Blend it in blender and strain it. Place it back on fire and bring it to a boil. Add coconut milk. Adjust the ­seasoning with salt and sugar. Serve hot with crispy bacon.
By Chef Manish Mehrotra, Indian Accent
Pho Bo Soup
Ingredients: 1 small onion (chopped), 12-inch stick ginger, 2 pounds beef bones, 12 cups water, 6 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 5 clove, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 pound lean, tender beef, 1 pack of 16 ounce package-dry flat rice noodles, 2 thinly-sliced scallions, 1 large thinly-sliced onion, 10 finely chopped cilantro sprigs, 1 cup bean sprouts, 10 sprigs basil, fresh thinly-sliced red or green chilli pepper.
Method: Broil onion and ginger until they look burned. Using back of cleaver, smash the ginger and set aside. Wash beef bones, place it in a large soup pot
and add water and cover. Bring it to a boil and immediately pour off the first boiling water and discard. Add another 12 cups of fresh water and bring to a boil again. Skim off foam. Add the broiled onion and ginger, ­cinnamon, clove, star anise, salt, ­sesame oil and sugar. Over medium-low heat, simmer for 30 minutes. Slice raw beef into thin strips and set aside. Remove bones from broth and strain out vegetables and seasonings. Soak noodles in cold water for 10 minutes and drain. In a soup pot, bring two quarts of fresh water to a boil. Add drained noodles and cook for seven minutes at a rolling boil, ­stirring till noodles are tender. Rinse noodles under cold running water and set aside. Return the broth to a boil over high heat. Place noodles in serving bowls and arrange thinly-sliced raw beef, scallions, onion and cilantro on top. Pour boiling hot broth to cover noodles and serve immediately. The boiling broth will cook the thin slices of beef.
by Chef Durgesh Tyagi, The Grand
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Ingredients: 600gm butternut squash (peeled and cut into dices), 50gm onions (chopped), 2 cloves of ­garlic, salt and pepper to taste, 20ml extra virgin olive oil, 800ml vegetable stock, 5-6 small thyme sprig (chopped), 5-6 fresh sage leaves (chopped)
Method: Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. In a bowl, combine ­butternut, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Spread on a baking tray and roast the ­veggies for 20 mins in the oven. Now blend vegetables and veg stock until smooth. Transfer to a pot and bring to a low simmer. Add thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Add additional stock to reach the ­consistency you prefer. Serve hot.
By Chef Vasu Dev, Crowne Plaza Today
Garlic Cream Soup With Creole Chicken
Ingredients: 80 gm elephant garlc cloves, 50ml olive oil, 15 gm butter, 50 gm white onion, 100ml chicken stock, 1 sprig thyme, 1 no. chicken breast, 5 gms creole spice mix, 150 ml milk, 50 ml cream, 1 tbsp spring onion (chopped), salt and pepper to taste
Method: Cut garlic cloves into half and boil them briefly, a few times in water and in milk. Each time, drain away the boiling liquid and rinse with fresh water and put to boil again to make garlic soft and less pungent. Saute onions in butter. Add garlic, thyme and chicken stock to it. Season it and let it simmer. Next, rub chicken breast with spice mix and let it stand. Take thyme out and let the soup cool down for a little bit. Puree the liquid in blender with a thin stream of olive oil. Cook the chicken breast in moderate oven for 6-7 minutes. Let it rest and then slice thinly. Arrange in a soup dish and pour the soup over. Heat olive oil in a pan, add chopped spring onions when hot and let them stand away from heat. Drizzle this flavoured oil on the soup and serve.
By Chef Anshuman Bali, Threesixty°, The Oberoi
Simmer like a pro
Want veggies to taste better? Before adding them to your soup, toss them into a little butter to pep up the taste.
Boiling your soup too long wouldn’t make it more delicious. It will only start losing its colour, flavours aroma and freshness. So don’t go ­overboard.
Added too much salt into your soup by mistake? Place a raw potato into your soup pot and simmer for 10 minutes. This will soak up the extra taste.
If you love soups with thick texture, instead of cornflour, you can add some mashed potato, stir and blend into the soup.
Have leftover noodles, meat or veggies in your refrigerator? Make yourself a quick ­flavourful soup with them. You can also puree leftover ­vegetables and add to the soup to thicken its texture.
It’s always a good idea to throw in a dash of freshness right at the end: like fresh herbs, fresh citrus juice or fresh cream.
How about a soup dinner?
PASTA AND RICE: Turn your soup into a more filling meal by adding cooked pasta, noodles, potatoes or rice. You can add pasta to mixed vegetable soup or add sweet potatoes to meat or chicken soup. Try to choose high-fiber varieties of pasta, such as whole-wheat or multi-grain or brown rice, which is healthier.
MEAT: You can also add dumplings, meat and chicken chunks and whipped egg white to your soup to make it rich in protein. Any leftover meat can be added to a vegetable soup or broth.
DAIRY PRODUCTS: Add milk to make a broth-based soup creamier and more filling. It’s also a good idea to make canned soups richer. Instead of diluting with water, use milk. You can also sprinkle grated cheese on top of your soup.
SIDE DISH: If you want to go all out, you can do a little side dish to go with your soup. Have it with a nice salad of your choice, a filling ­sandwich, French roll or baked sweet potato.