Vegetable-Barley Soup

vegetable-barley soup
Weather is getting cold here. So one of the things that I make frequently these days is this hearty vegetable and barley soup. I kept on modifying it till I got something that we both really enjoy. This is so filling that, we sometimes skip dinner after this.

2 cups vegetables – potatoes, green beans, carrots, zucchini
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup fresh chopped spinach
1 tea spn finely chopped ginger
1/2 tea spn finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup barley
1/2 tea spn dried basil
1/4 cup tomato
2 bay leaves
1/2 tea spn red pepper flakes
1 tea spn butter

Heat butter and bay leaves, ginger, garlic and onion. Fry for few minutes and add all the vegetables. Fry them for a minute.
Now add chopped spinach, barley, salt, tomato, red pepper flakes, 2-3 cups water.
Cook till all the vegetables and barley is done. I cook it in pressure cooker.
Now add basil, pepper and cook for about a minute.
Serve hot.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 30mins

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Macaroni soup

A fresh bowl of soup is something I want to have when I reach home daily from work. Sometimes when I am not very tired, I make something special apart from usual dinner. This is one such soup I tried. We loved it.

1 cup finely chopped vegetables – I used bellpeppers(capsicums) of 3 colors, cauliflower, green beans, carrots
1/2 tea spn fresh chopped ginger
1/2 cup macaroni
1/4 tea spn pepper + 1/4 tea spn red pepper flakes
1 tbl spn chopped basil
2 tbl spn milk
1-2 tbl spn Parmesan cheese
1 tea spn corn flour

Cook macaroni till it is done.
Cook the vegetables and ginger in enough water till they are almost done with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes. Add macaroni.
Mix corn flour with milk. Add this to vegetables, macaroni mixture. When the soup becomes thick, take off the heat. Add cheese, basil. Serve hot.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

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Drumstick soup

A bowl of hot soup is all I ask for in this cold weather. I usually make some or the other kind of soup when I reach home literally shivering. It is very challenging to come up with new soups as we get bored of having same again and again.

I usually keep a big batch of drumsticks in freezer. So  when I saw a drumstick soup recipe in my collection, I wanted to give it a try. I changed it to suit our tastes. Increase the number of drumsticks if you like a strong taste of it. With the following amount, it had a mild taste of drumstick.

10-15 pieces of drumsticks
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tea spn butter
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 tea spn pepper

Cook drumstick in enough water. Press it down with a spoon to remove all the juicy flesh or if you have more time, scoop out the fleshy part.

Discard the outer skin.
Blend it along with water used to cook them to get a smooth paste.
Heat butter and fry onions. Blend them to smooth paste.
Mix this with drumstick paste, add powdered cloves, bay leaf, pepper powder, salt and cook till soup thickens a bit. Serve hot with a dollop of butter on top.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 15mins

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Pasta and bean soup(Zuppa di Pasta e Fagioli)

I am feeling that, my knowledge about non Indian cuisines is very low. I am trying my best to learn as much as possible about them . It is very difficult for a person like me, who has not tasted many different cuisines, to search for such recipes without knowing their names. So I asked a person who has a vast knowledge about Indian as well as non Indian food. Most of my food blogger buddies might have known who it is by now, yes it is indeed Pelicano, who has just started his own blog.

This is what he said, “The book this is taken from recommends whole-wheat Italian bread and a salad of endive to accompany this, but personally I never serve bread with a soup that contains a starchy ingredient as I feel this is redundant, and also excessive in simple carbs! I think this soup, paired with a nice salad and followed with a plate of fruit is quite enough for a simple meal”.

He sent me 3 recipes, an Afghani soup – vegetarian mosh awa, an Italian soup – Zuppa di Pasta e Fagioli and one more dish. I don’t know much about pastas. So I picked up wrong pasta every time I went for shopping, though Pelicano gave me the name of pasta to be used in this soup. Anyway, after trying it out with different pastas(all wrong ones), I finally decided to choose the tiniest pastas from grocery store. I searched for it and found tiny “Stars estrellas” – “Pasta alimenticia” (well, I don’t know which is the name of the pasta and which is brand name, so thought of mentioning both). It is a Mixican pasta type, at least the packet says so.

I used the beans which I had. First time I used black eyed beans and next time I used dried green peas. The final result was too good. This is one more exotic soup and tastes heavenly.

1/2 cup dried white beans(navy beans)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tea spn finely chopped garlic
Olive oil
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped sweet bell pepper ( or poblano chile- large dark green)
1 bay leaf
1/4 tea spn oregano
1/4 tea spn crushed/powdered red chili
1/4 cup chopped tomato
2-3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup ditalini or other small pasta
1/2 tea spn fresh/dried basil
1 tea spn fresh/dried parsley
Romano or parmesan cheese

I didn’t use celery and pepper, still it turned very good.

Soak the beans overnight and cook them till they are soft.
Heat water and add pasta and little oil. Cook till al dente.
Heat olive oil and add onion, garlic, celery, carrot, pepper, bay leaf, oregano, red chili and saute till onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and fry for few moments.
Add carrots, broth and cook till carrots are soft. Add cooked beans, pasta, parsley and basil.Cook for around 10mins.
While serving, serve with cheese.

Serves :2-3
Preparation time : 40mins

PS: I have changed the proportions of the original recipe to suit taste. I have simplified the procedure.

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Vegetarian mosh awa (Afghani vegetable soup)

For last few days we have a freezing cold here. I always loved snow, but that craziness is gone after tolerating a chilling cold here. My office is just next building from home, but even that walk is becoming too much. After somehow reaching home, I spend my time watching food network on TV (Its good that we don’t get Sanjeev Kapoor’s shows here, otherwise I would have not moved from my place :)). Initially I started it to sit and relax, but now it has become a habit. So I start cooking at 8 after all my favorite shows get over. So I choose something really simple which can be prepared in 30-60mins. But this weekend, I forcefully dragged myself to kitchen to cook something really different and tasty. We felt like having some soup, so I remembered this recipe from Pelicano.

I really admire Palicano’s vast knowledge about Indian festivals and cooking. He also has very good knowledge about many other cuisines. So I asked him if he knows any non-Indian vegetarian recipes. He sent me three very interesting recipes, this soup is one of them. Here is what he has to say about this soup, “Here is a soup recipe from Afghanistan that I like to make every now and then. There are soups like this in traditional Persian and Turkish cuisine as well.Usually this is made with a chicken or lamb stock, but this version is vegetarian and just as delicious!”.

So I decided I would try this. But when I read the recipe, I realised I was not having any of the dried herbs used for this. Since I had already decided to make this, I thought of replacing all the herbs with whatever I have. It turned out into an exotic soup, very filling and delicious. I am going to first give the original recipe and will mention what I did. Next time when I try the original recipe, I will update this post. Till then, pick one according to your taste.

1 cup whole moong(moong daal is fine too…with or without skins, as some recipes call for it)
1 cup chickpeas(kabuli chana)
2 cups onions, minced finely
5 cloves of garlic, minced finely
? cup olive oil(this seems like a lot, but it is meant to be floating on the top luxuriously)
1 tea spn crushed chiles
1 cup tomato puree or 2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 tea spn dried mint/pudina or 2 tea spn fresh mint leaves
1 tea spn dried dill or 2 tea spn fresh dill leaves
1 ? cups of water(plus more as needed)
1 tea spn gram flour(besan)
1 cup of yoghurt/dahi + ? Cup of water
salt to taste

Wash, soak and cook the moong and chickpeas separately until very tender in enough water to keep them covered.
Fry onions and garlic in oil until lightly browned, add crushed chile and fry til it darkens.
Lower the flame and add tomatoes, mint, dill, and salt and keep frying until it forms a paste and the oil returns to the edges.
Add water and cooked moong, chickpeas along with their cooking liquid, bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for 20 min. Thin if needed with more water.
Thin the yoghurt with water(I have added a spoon of besan to keep the yoghurt from curdling) and then pour in a stream into the soup while stirrin. Turn off heat, adjust salt if needed.


-Some recipes similar to this also add black pepper and alspice berries to the tomato mixture.
-Some recipes also include small(? inch) meatballs.I think small vadas or broken leftover vadas or even pakoras would go well in this soup as well, but I haven?t tried it yet.
-Sometimes a handful of noodles of wheat are added, and I do this if I think of it, before the yoghurt is added, and perhaps add some more water to thin it if you do.

What I did:
I cooked 1/2 cup chickpeas and 1/2 cup whole moong in cooker till they were soft.
Heated 1 tea spn butter and fried 3/4 cup finely chopped onion. Added 2 tbl spn chopped yellow bell pepper and fried well. Now, I added 3/4 cup tomato, finely chopped green chilies, salt and fried till the tomatoes were soft. Now I mixed cooked chickpeas and moong, cooked it for around 5mins.
Mixed yogurt and water and added it to the soup. Added some crshed pepper, chopped coriander leaves.
While serving, I topped it with some oregano and 1/2 tea spn butter per bowl.

– Adding bell pepper was not a good idea. So if you try this soup, do not add bell pepper(yellow capsicum).

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Spinach(Palak) soup

I love most of the soups. When I saw an article about soups in my recipe collection from old Kannada weekly, I was very much interested in it. I tried most of them and almost all turned out great. But I was a bit hesitant to try the spinach soup. I am not very comfortable with the strong spinach smell, but still I tried it with few changes and it turned out really good. It is a perfect dish for cold weather.

1 and 1/2 cups palak(spinach)
1/2 cup onion(cut into small pieces)
1 tea spn corn flour or maida
2 tea spns butter
Pepper powder
1/2 cup milk(optional)

Heat 1 tea spn butter. When it melts, add spinach and fry for 1-2mins. Add 1 cup water and cook till spinach leaves become tender. Grind them into a smooth puree using mixer/blender.
Heat remaining butter and fry onions till they turn translucent. Now add spinach puree. Mix corn flour in milk or water and add this to the spinach mixture stirring continuously. Add salt and pepper. When it thickens to desired consistency, take off from heat.
Serve hot.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 15mins

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Carrot – Tomato Soup

Here goes one more healthy and easy to make soup recipe.

These days I just love soups. Its very boring to have the same soups again and again. So I try a variety of them.

Once I had seen carrot soup recipe on some TV show. When I tried it, I did not like the taste. It had a very strong flavour of carrots. But then while searching in the net for something, I found this recipe. It came out very delicious.

Carrot 2 big
Tomatoes 2
Pepper 1/2 tea spn
Butter 1 tea spn

Cut carrots and tomatoes into big pieces. Cook them with one cup of water in pressure cooker or microwave until they are completely cooked. Cool and blend in a blender to a smooth paste (I dont strain the soup, because I feel straining will remove all the fibres from the soup).
Bring the mixture to boil adding 2 cups of water. Add salt and pepper.
Serve hot garnished with butter.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 20min

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Onion Coriander Soup

Here is an easy soup recipe. I am in no mood to write any stories today. So here is the recipe…

Ingredients :
Onion 1(medium size)
Coriander leaves 4-5 strands
Corn flour/maida 1 tea spn
Pepper powder ½ tea spn
Butter 1 tbl spn

Heat butter and fry onions(finely chopped) for 2-3 minutes(till the raw smell goes off). Add 2 cups of water and let the onions cook completely. Mix corn flour in one tablespoon of water to make a smooth paste. Add this paste to onion mixture stirring continuously. When the soup has become thick, add pepper powder, salt and finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix well and remove from flame. Serve hot garnished with butter.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 10min

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Sweet Corn Soup

Sweet Corn Soup is one of my favourites. I tried many time to get the same taste as they served in restaurants. But could not. So last time when I had brought some corn, I thought of doing some trial and error. This turned out to be great. This had a slight taste like popcorn(I simply love popcorn!!!).The picture has not come well. But I did not wanted to wait till I prepare this next time.

Ingredients :
Sweet corn 2 cups
Soya sauce 1/2 tea spn
Pepper powder 1/2 tea spn

Add 2 cups of water to sweet corn and cook till corn becomes slightly tender. Keep aside 2 tea spns of corn and grind the remaining(along with water) to a smooth paste.
Heat the corn paste. Add the reserved cooked corn, salt, pepper and soya sauce. Cook till the soup becomes slightly thick. Serve hot.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 15min

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Cabbage Soup

This is a great day for my blog. Bacause this is my 100th post!!.

I had started this blog last year to share my aayi’s recipes. Since I was very busy with my work, I was not able to concentrate much on this. Though I used to post whenever I had time, I could not take pictures. But from this February, I am giving a lot of time to it. I uploaded pictures to most of my previous posts. Most of the time I try new dishes just to post them here.

I would love to publish this as a book at some point of time in my life.If possible, I will open a restaurant where in one can eat all possible Konkani food.

Through my blog I want to bring the awareness about konkani(mainly North and South Kanara which are in the Coastal side of Karnataka) food to outside world.

The most important thing I would like to improve about my blog is, the quality of pictures. I feel bad about the terrible looking pictures of the delicious recipes. Even after trying constantly to improve, I had a very little or no success in this matter.

Well….my today’s post is not included under konkani traditional food. I had decided to share a “soup recipe” every Monday, So I am posting this.

Cabbage (Shredded) 1 cup
Butter 1 tbl spn
Ginger-garlic paste ½ tea spn
Milk ½ cup
Pepper ½ tea spn

Heat butter and fry shredded cabbage and ginger-garlic paste for 4-5 minutes. Grind the cabbage till you get a smooth mixture. Heat the mixture with milk. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Garnish with butter and serve hot.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 15min

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