Chilled Cucumber Avacodo soup with mint and cilantro

We have had some really hot days of summer. Your body then craves some cooling foods like cucumber, yoghurt, kefir and lots of raw cooling vegetable salads. In this soup the airy cool cucumber is combined and balanced with the dense, velvety texture of Omega rich Avocado, a perfect marriage of colour, taste and texture !!!!  Off course the addition of cooling herbs like mint and cilantro is the cherry on the cake ( soup !!! ). Hope you will love this soup as much as my family did.

Ingredients

4  dill cucumbers peeled or a peeled large English cucumber

1 ripe avocado peeled and seed removed

1 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro 

8-10 leaves of mint

salt to taste

1/2 jalepeno

3/4 cup of water

tabasco to taste

 

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Method

1 .Blend  all the above ingredients except few leaves of mint and tabasco.

2. The soup will have some texture to it.

3. Chill for few hours and garnish with mint and serve.

4. Enjoy this beautiful, vibrant, refreshing delicious soup on a hot summer day.

Variation – you may add a dollop of greek yoghurt or natural home made yoghurt before serving.

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Zen like Aragula and lima bean soup

Hello  everybody better weather is  finally here days are finally warmer and longer. Your body is naturally craving lighter, brighter and flavourful foods. My husband now loves soups and it is a perfect opportunity for me to also use lots of my favourite leafy greens which not only just make the food more nutritious but also enhance the flavour.

I came up with  this soup recipe because I wanted something simple, hearty and off course flavourful without using too many ingredients. The lima beans are beautiful white buttery beans with inherent sweetness, I decided to combine them with bright green antixidant, mineral rich and pungent aragula leaves creating a pefect marriage of substance and flavour. To this add one red pepper and one red tomato for colour and flavour and not to forget the fresh garlic from my garden and Voila!!! a delicious, colourful and flavourful minimalist soup is born.  

Ingredients

1 cups lima beans soaked for few hours and boiled

2 cups washed aragula finely chopped

1 red pepper finely chopped

2 – 3 fresh garlic greens finely chopped or 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 tbsp. olive oil or ghee

1 hot house or plum tomato chopped

salt to taste

crushed black pepper to taste

 

Method

1.Boil the soaked beans in a pressure cooker or cook in a pot till soft.

2. In 1 tbsp. of oil saute’  the pepper  for few minutes and then add fresh garlic, chopped aragula and tomato and let it cook for few minutes

 3.Once the tomatoes are little soft add the cooked lima beans, salt and 1 1/2 cups of water and let it come to a boil.

4. Serve with crusty bread or crackers. ENJOY!!! a simple,delicious light soup.

 

 

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Mixed Lentil Soup with Golden Chard and Cilantro

The soup that I bring to you today is beautiful in its simplicity. It is easy to make does not require much preparation .There are not too many ingredients to gather and the result is beautiful to look at and delicious to eat, not to mention extremely good for you. It is a high protein soup full of antioxidants

INGREDIENTS

1/2  cup yellow mung bean lentils

1/2 cup red lentils

1 clove of garlic finely chopped

3/4 cup golden chard finely chopped

2- 3 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/2 freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. ghee or extra virgin olive oil

a pinch asafoetida (optional)

salt to taste

1 tomato chopped into 1” pieces

3 cups of water

few slices of 1 lemon or lime

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METHOD

1. Rinse the lentils thoroughly few times scrubbing it between your fingers.

2. In a heavy bottom pan on medium heat let the lentils cook in 3 cups of water for 20 –    25 minutes. Also add asafoetida powder, turmeric powder and garlic.

3. Now add the chopped chard (it is very tender so does not take long to cook).

4. After 10 minutes add tomato, salt and black pepper. By this time the lentils should be softened and blended together.

5. Let it all simmer for another 10 -15 minutes, add cilantro, lime juice and ghee or oil and serve.

6. Enjoy!!!. Serve with crusty bread or rice and serve.

Greens Galore Black Bean Soup (with radish greens and beet greens)

A super delicious super healthy summer fresh soup rich  in antioxidants, iron and protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiled black beans
  • 1/2 cup radish greens with stems finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup beet greens with stems finely chopped
  • 1 big leaf of ruby chard finely chopped
  • 3/4  cup sorrel leaves finely chopped ( optional)
  • 1 bunch green onions finely chopped ( white bulb and the leafy tails )
  • 2 medium sized green house tomatoes pureed ( use more  if you do not find sorrel leaves)
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 jalepeno finely chopped or 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. ghee and 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups of water

Method

  1. Heat the ghee and saute’ all the greens (except sorrel) ,garlic ,jalepeno and onions .
  2. After 4-5 minutes or maybe little longer making sure all the crunchy stems are cooked, add the tomato puree, beans and sorrel leaves.
  3. Let it come to a boil , now add 11/2 cup of water,  salt and let the soup come to a boil and simmer for another 15 – 20 minutes.
  4. Drizzle soup with olive oil and serve with crusty bread.

Enjoy !!!!

P.S. You could make the soup thicker or more watery according to your preference. My son did not want a thick soup that is why this soup is more liquidy.

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Summer Fresh vegetable soup with coconut milk and rhubarb

Lot of people get excited about many different things , but I get excited seeing fresh produce , different fruits and vegetables and specially leafy greens. And then even if I am pressed for time I like to use those and let my imagination fly in creating new dishes with new so far unknown ingredients . Fear of the unknown even in the kitchen prevents people from trying new things so to those I say take God’s name and put your love in it and everything tastes wonderful and delicious.

So here I am with a new recipe using Rhubarb which i have never used in a soup before   ( generally used to make pies) fresh yellow zucchini, some beet greens, fresh tender corn and many other vegetables.

Hope you will enjoy making it as much as i enjoyed creating it.

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow zucchini finely chopped  ( I did it in the vegetable mandolin slicer )
  • 1 red pepper finely chopped
  • fresh corn niblets removed from 1  fresh corn on the cob
  • 1 stalk of rhubarb cleaned peeled a little and finely chopped ( to remove the fibrous skin )
  • 1 bunch of fresh green onions ( with the tops attached ) finely chopped
  • 1/3  cup finely chopped dandelion leaves finely chopped ( red or green )
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup split yellow lentils rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. red cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk or 3 tbsp. dry pure coconut milk powder
  • 3- 4 tbsp. of fresh basil leaves finely chopped
  • 2 fresh medium sized tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp. spiced extra virgin olive oil or plain olive oil for drizzling on top
  • salt to taste

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Method

  1. Cook the lentils in 2 cups of water for 15 – 20 minutes ( remove the froth few times ) till half cooked and tender.
  2. Now add zucchini, dandelion leaves  ( the bitterness would be balanced out with the sweetness of coconut milk ) cook 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add pepper, fresh onions ( without the greens ) and garlic.
  4. After 5-7 minutes add rhubarb and leafy greens of the onion.
  5. After 5 minutes add the coconut milk powder mixed thoroughly  with 1/2 cup of water.
  6. Add salt ,black pepper, cayenne and let it come to a boil and remaining water .
  7. Add chopped basil and drizzle some spiced olive oil and serve.
  8. Enjoy a refreshing light soup rich with varied flavours.

Summer Fresh Lentil Soup

I love cooking in spring and summer as there is so much nature’s bounty available, all I have to do  is step out in my vegetable garden and I have lovely tangy Sorrel, curly Kale, fresh garlic scapes, fragrant mint, and nutritious Collard greens for now. Later it would be tomatoes, eggplant etc. So Here is my simple soup recipe using some of that bounty. A fresh tasting very healthy soup, one pot meal can be put together in no time at all.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup split yellow lentils ( mung beans lentils ) or red lentils or a mixture of two rinsed thoroughly and soaked for few hours in 2 cups  of water
  • 1 carrot peeled and chopped
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • Fresh garlic greens finely chopped
  • 1 ” piece of ginger grated
  • 2 leaves of collard greens or kale or Swiss chard washed and finely chopped
  • 3-4 leaves of sorrel washed and finely chopped ( optional )
  • 1 green house tomato chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 2tbsp. of ghee or extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper flakes or Tabasco ( optional )
  • Lemon or lime juice to taste

Method

  1. Cook the lentils on medium heat for 20 – 25 minutes till they are softened but you can see the shape.
  2. Add all the vegetables  ( except sorrel leaves ) and cook for another 20-25 minutes till the vegetables  are soft.
  3. Add salt and pepper and ghee before serving.
  4. Serve with a crusty bread.

ENJOY!!!!

Pumpkin Soup With Lima Beans

I bring to you today a soup and a story (or should I say soup with a story). It was in fall of 1991 I moved to Canada and it being fall season we were literally surrounded with pumpkins and other squashes in all shapes and sizes. I liked pumpkin (well I like most vegetables). It was my new dear hubby who did not care much for pumpkins and many other vegetables. Well I took it as a challenge and came up with this recipe using pumpkin and lima beans (which I thought were Canadian). To balance out the sweetness of the pumpkin I added hot Thai chillies. And to add a little extra flavor to it I have added celery leaves instead of the usual herbs. What can I say this is my husband and rest of the family’s favorite now! Hope you will enjoy making it as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

A beautiful high fiber carotenoid and antioxidant rich delicious soup
Serves – 4-6

Preparation Time- 25 min.                        Cooking Time –  45-50 min.

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Ingredients
3 cups peeled and cubed ( 1″pieces) pumpkin
2 medium sized carrots peeled and cubed same as pumpkin
2 medium sized tomatoes washed and chopped
2 hot green chillies or jalepenos
2 cups boiled Lima beans
1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
1 tbsp. Ghee or extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cups of water
Salt to taste

Method
1. Heat ghee in a heavy pot on medium heat and fry the slit green chillies.
2. Add the celery leaves and asafoetida and sauté for a few minutes.
3. Add the sliced carrots and let it cook for a few minutes.
4. Now add the chopped pumpkin and cook on low heat.
5. After few minutes add quarter cup of water to the mix and cook .You may also remove the slit chillies at this otherwise the soup will become very spicy.
6. Now you will start to see pumpkin pieces starting to disintegrate and forming a puree (carrots will continue to hold their shape even though cooked).
7. Keep adding the water till most of  pumpkin pieces have dissolved and formed a puree.
8. Now add tomatoes to the bottom of the pan(” by  moving the puree to the side and adding tomatoes  so that they can cook  faster )
9. After  few minutes add the boiled Lima beans and the remaining water.
10. Add salt and bring the soup to a boil .
11. Serve hot.

Enjoy!!!!

PUMPKIN TRIVIA

Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites!

Pumpkin takes its name from the medieval French word ‘pompom’, meaning ‘cooked by the sun.’ (Ultimately, probably from the Greek ‘pepon.’)

99% of all pumpkins are sold for decorations.

Pumpkins are about 90% water.

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