Monsoon might be gradually weaning off but there’s still no respite from cold, flu and a host of other ailments, typical of the season. If you are looking to indulge in something that makes for a nutritious yet tasty grub, then nothing can beat the goodness of hot and healthy soups. Make any soup of your choice but remember to add a dash of ginger, garlic or pepper. You could also beat the blues with some tangy yet vitamin C-packed tomatoes or opt for a simple chicken soup to stir your soul.
“Often in this season, harmful bacteria and viruses attack the immune system. Anti-inflammatory ingredients such as ginger, garlic and pepper strengthen the immune system. Soups help overcome dehydration, and when packed with such anti-inflammatory stuff or simple seasonal veggies, it not only supplies your body all the necessary nutrients needed to recoup from an illness but also soothes your throat, and adequately warms your body up,” says nutritionist Dr Ambika Sharma of Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad.
A flavoursome soupy veg hotchpotch
Ingredients: 10gm broccoli florets, 30gm cabbage, 20gm zucchini, 15gm potato, 10gm French bean, 5gm tomato, 10gm carrot, 10gm onion, 5gm leeks dices - all vegetables (diced), 5gm pasta (any small variety), 15gm tomato sauce, 3gm readymade basil pesto, 10gm olive oil, 150gm vegetable stock, salt and pepper to taste.
Method: Take a pan, heat with some butter and oil, add potato dices and saute for two minutes. Add carrots and sauté, add onion and leeks and saute everything together. Add zucchini and French beans, and cook for some time till the vegetables leave the water. Add vegetable stock with some tomato sauce, add broccoli and cook. Finally, add the cabbage, pasta and tomatoes. Cook for another eight to 10 minutes. In a warm bowl, put basil pesto in the centre and pour the soup over it, and relish it hot.
By chef Ramit Wason, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla
The famous Tibetan noodle soup
Ingredients: 350ml vegetables stock, 5gm garlic, ginger and tomato (each chopped), 2gm coriander stem, 5gm noodles (fresh noodles), 5gm cabbage and carrots, each julienne cut, 80gm chicken shredded (optional), 2gm crushed black pepper, 5ml refined oil, salt to taste, 5gm vegetable broth powder or 5gm chicken broth powder.
Method: Blanch the fresh noodles and set aside. Heat the wok, put 5ml refined oil, put the chopped garlic, ginger and tomato to the oil and cook for two minutes. Add the vegetable stock or shredded chicken and chicken stock (if you want to have chicken) and cook for three minutes. Add cabbage, carrot, noodles, coriander stem and black pepper and cook for two minutes. Add vegetable broth powder and salt as per taste. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, and have it hot.
By chef Mohan Chauhan, Chi Kitchen & Bar
Cheesy Potato Pot
Potato and parmesan soup with parsley pesto
Ingredients: 60gm butter, 2 brown onions (chopped), 4 cloves garlic (crushed), 1kg potatoes (peeled and chopped), 500ml vegetable stock, 100ml milk, 50gm finely grated parmesan cheese
For Parsley pesto: 250gm flat-leaf parsley leaves, 30gm finely grated parmesan, 20gm pine nuts (toasted), 200ml olive oil
Method: To make Parsley pesto, place parsley, cheese, pine nuts and oil in the bowl of a small food processor and process to combine. Set aside. Now, to make the soup, melt butter in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add the potato and stock and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add milk and cook for 1-2 minutes or until warmed through. Remove from heat, add cheese and blend with a stick mixer until smooth. Top with the pesto to serve.
By chef Bishan Negi, Courtyard by Marriott Gurgaon
Lemon Chicken Soup
Chicken stock with shredded chicken & lime
Ingredients: 5gm white pepper, 10gm salt, 200gm chicken boneless, 30ml lemon juice, 100gm capsicum, 100gm onion, 1ltr chicken stock, 15gm sour cream, 5gm parsley, 25ml olive oil
Method: Heat the pan and add 2tsp oil to it. Stir in the onions and sauté for about a minute. Now, add the capsicum and saute for another couple of minutes. Then add the chicken stock, and let this mixture simmer for a while on low heat (for about 10 minutes). Shred the chicken and add the shredded chicken pieces to the boiling soup. Let it boil for a couple of minutes, season with salt and a pinch of white pepper and take it off the flame. Before eating, garnish with a little sour cream, parsley and lemon wedges. If you are suffering from cold or have been sneezing all day, this soup will instantly pep you up.
By chef Sanjay Kumar, Rodeo