The onset of cold spell is not just to unwrap sweaters and cardigans from the closet. It necessitates soothing bowls of healthy soups to keep winter ailments at an arm’s length. The word soup stems from the French term soupe, which means broth or soup. This savoury liquid food packed with the goodness of veggies, or seafood, immunity-boosting spices and flavoursome seasonings is indeed balmy during winter and the first month of the year.
Be it the rich and thick chowder, seafood-infused bisque, consommé of clarified egg whites, or pureed vegetables known as potage, they come with different flavour profiles and garnishes. Soups are delicious, easy to whip up, and comforting. Chef Hemwant Rautela, Executive Chef at Brij Hotels Jaipur, explains, “Soup is a liquid food of vegetables or meat prepared with milk, vegetable/meat stock or water. It is normally had piping hot. But there are cold soups too like gazpacho. Broth can be referred to as a thin soup while its thicker cousin stew includes large pieces of meats and vegetables.”
Beets, broccoli, carrots, artichokes, beans, avocados are high in fibre. Lentils and greens like spinach, peas and collards are great sources of proteins, folates and minerals. Mumbai-based Holistic Nutritionist Hetal Chheda says, “Non-starchy soups haul up a nourishing punch of goodness. Since no deep frying or sautéing are involved, they preserve the nutritive value of the ingredients. With loads of immunity developing elements and herbs, just make sure they are rich in fibre.”
Seafood Minestrone Soup
5ml Olive oil pomace 5ml
2 gm Garlic, chopped
10 gm Carrot
20 gm Zucchini yellow/green
10 gm French beans
60 gm Peeled tomato (canned tomato)
15 gm Fresh tomato dices
200 ml Fish stock
100 ml Vegetable stock
80 gm Fresh prawns
40 gm Fresh squid
2 gm Salt
1 gm Black pepper
2 ml Herb oil/Extra Virgin Olive oil
3 gm Fresh basil
Method: Take a heavy bottom saucepan, add olive oil and lightly sauté the prawns and squid keep aside. To the same pan, add the chopped garlic followed by all the diced vegetables. Add the fish stock along with vegetable stock and simmer it for some time. Then introduce the sautéed prawns and squid. Add peeled tomatoes and fresh tomato dices to the broth. Simmer it till the right consistency is achieved. Season it with salt and black pepper and fresh basil. Finish the soup with herb oil.
Benefits: This recipe has immunity boosting properties and is a gluten-free soup. Keeps seasonal ailments at bay.
(Recipe by Chef Gracian De Souza from The Village Bistro, Goa)
Butternut Squash soup
500 gm Butternut squash/Pumpkin
1 tbsp Olive oil
2 Chopped onion
1 Chopped Red peppers
Chopped celery a handful
4 to 5 pods Chopped garlic
White pepper powder as per taste
1 tbsp Roasted almond flakes
Salt to taste
Method: Slice pumpkin and sauté it in a pan. Add garlic, onion, celery and red peppers sauté for atleast 15 minutes in low flame. Allow it to cool. Grind the sautéed ingredients in a blender. Strain the mixture. Add salt and pepper in the end. Garnish with roasted almond flakes.
Benefits: Consists Vitamin A, potassium and fibre. Good for digestion, hair and skin.
(Recipe by Chef Hiren Mistry, Millo restaurant, Lower Parel)
Roasted Tomato Basil Shorba
4 large Tomatoes
½ tsp Fresh Basil Leaves finely chopped
1 Garlic pod
1 tsp Butter Salt and pepper powder for seasoning.
Method: Wash and roast the tomatoes. Deskin the tomatoes and make a puree along with garlic. Boil and adjust water to get the desired consistency. Add the seasonings and butter. Garnish with chopped basil leaves. Serve piping hot with garlic bread.
Benefits: Contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory, antiviral properties. Tomatoes have a low glycaemic index and therefore ideal for diabetic people.
(Recipe by Executive Chef Arun Kumar, Araiya Resort Palampur, HP)
Broccoli and Spinach soup
500 gm Broccoli
250 gm Spinach
15 ml Olive oil
Pink salt as per taste
Black pepper powder as per taste
Method: Wash and cut broccoli and spinach, keep aside. Heat olive oil and sauté celery and add broccoli, add some water and pink salt. Let it cook till broccoli softens. Then add spinach at last and let it cook for a while. Remove from heat, let it cool and make a thick fine puree. Adjust salt and pepper as per your taste, and serve.
Benefits: This gluten-free, vegan and sattvic soup promotes gut health, and aids weight loss. Due to its health-boosting potential, this soup is an easy food to add to your diet.
(Recipe by Executive Chef Hemwant Rautela, Brij Hotels Jaipur)