Chicken Recipes, Easy Maincourse, Soups

Top 10 Winter Soups you must try

Winter is the time when our appetite is at an all time high. Due to this we generally tend to binge rather than eat rationally; be it during regular meals, untimely snacking or midnight munching.
Then, why not make one of the meals a nutritious binge? It’s possible when we whip up a bowl of soup made using the freshest of vegetables that the season offers.

Soups generally are underrated and not given much importance but trust me you will be amazed at the variety of flavours, colours, textures one can experiment with when it comes to soups and they definitely can turn out to be the most gourmet dish you would have ever whipped up.

If that sounds convincing then checkout out below the Top 10 Winter Soups you should try. They are a unique combination of veg and non-veg ingredients using soothing flavours and an array of vegetables.

All recipes below make 1 to 2 servings


1) Chunky Corn soup

½ cup American sweet corn
½ cup diced bottle gourd (lauki)
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 whole green chillies
2 cups water or stock (veg or non-veg)
Salt as per taste

Step 1 – Puree corn nibblets, ginger-garlic paste and green chilies together.
Step 2 – Add the puree along with bottle gourd, salt and water / stock in a pressure cook. Cook till 2 whistles.
Step 3 – On opening the cooker, pour the soup in serving bowl and enjoy.


2) Cheese soup

1 tbsp butter
2 tsp minced garlic
¼ cup water
½ cup milk
½ cup veg or meat stock
¾ cup grated cheese (use a combination of processed and cheddar)
White Pepper powder and Salt as per taste
Chopped coriander or parsley

Step 1 – Melt butter in a pan and sauté garlic in it till aromatic.
Step 2 – Pour in water, stock and milk. Add the cheese and stir. Simmer the soup for 10minutes.
Step 3 – Season the soup and serve in a bowl garnished with coriander or parsley.


3) Thai Lemongrass soup

½ cup boneless chicken, diced
3 tbsp Red Thai curry paste
3 to 4 mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
Lemongrass stalk 3 nos

Step 1 – Mix chicken and Thai paste well.
Step 2 – In a large pot, place chicken, lemongrass stalk, mushrooms, stock and water. Boil the soup for 20minutes or till the chicken cooks.
Step 3 – Remove lemongrass stalks from the soup. Pour in bowls and serve hot.


4) Rasam / Indian Hot and Sour Soup

2 tsp ghee
¼ tsp of mustard
¼ tsp of cumin
1-2 dry red chillies, broken
5 – 6 curry leaves
2 cups minced tomatoes
1 tbsp rasam powder
2 tbsp grated jaggery
2 tbsp tamarind water
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Step 1 – Heat ghee in a large pot. Crackle mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Stir for 1 minute.
Step 2 – Add in tomatoes, rasam powder, jaggery and tamarind water. Add 3 cups water, boil for 15minutes or till tomatoes are soft and mushy.
Step 3 – Strain the Rasam and then add coriander to it. Season with salt and pepper as per taste
.


5) Soothing Carrot Ginger Soup

2 tbsp butter
¼ cup chp onions
1 cup grated carrot
2 tbsp chopped ginger
3 cups stock (veg or non-veg)

Step 1 – Heat butter in a large pot. Sauté onions in it till translucent.
Step 2 – Add the carrot, ginger and stock. Boil for 15minutes.
Step 3 – Cool and puree the soup. Reheat before serving.


TIPS TO MAKE A GREAT SOUP


1) Always try and use stock instead of water. Stock adds a lot of flavour and nutrition to the soup and is definitely a better choice over any other cooking liquid.
2) Always add salt after boiling or in the final step of soup preparation. This is because boiling causes content reduction which increases the salt intensity.
3) Avoid using prepared stock cubes or powders. They not only lend a very artificial flavour to the soup but are also high in sodium and other preservatives which are best avoided.
4) Puree soups are never to be strained. I know it can get very difficult to enjoy a thick puree soup with hints of vegetable fiber getting in your mouth and spoiling the experience. But this can be avoided by using a good blender that does a fine job of pureeing soups giving a smooth result.
5) Always use less water / liquid while preparing soups. The same can be added later on if required but if you end up adding more the soup taste, flavour and nutrition will be compromised.
6) Avoid vigorous boiling after adding acids. Vinegar, lemon juice, proprietary sauces with similar acid content are best added at a later stage of soup preparation. They tend to give out a bitter flavour if cooked too much and spoil the taste of the soup.


6) Good ól Tomato soup with Garlic Croutons

3 medium tomatoes cut into 4
1 whole green chilli (avoid if you prefer non spicy)
½ onion, sliced
1 cup water
1 slice of bread
2 peeled cloves of garlic
1 tbsp butter
Seasonings – Salt, Pepper, Sugar & Oregano

Step 1 – Pressure cook tomatoes, green chilli, onion and water for about 3 whistles.
Step 2 – Cool and open the cooker. Puree and strain its contents.
Step 3 – To make the croutons, toast bread slice. Apply butter on hot toast and rub garlic cloves on it. Break the toast into bite sized croutons.
Step 4 – Season soup as per taste. Serve hot or cold garnished with croutons.


7) Pumpkin & Mint Soup

100gms diced pumpkins
2 tbsp cup diced onions
1 tbsp ginger_garlic paste
1 cup chicken or veg stock
1 cup water
Seasonings – Salt, Pepper, Sugar & Dried Mint Leaves

Step 1 – Put all of the above in a pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles on a medium flame.
Step 2 – Once cool, puree and strain the mixture.
Step 3 – Adjust thickness of soup with water and check for seasonings.
I seasoned the soup with some of my homemade dried mint leaves. Click here to know how to dry mint leave at home.


8) Milky corn soup

2 tbsp ghee
2 tsp crushed jeera (cumin seeds)
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 cup grated corn
1 cup water
1 cup milk mixed with 2 tsp corn flour
Add corn slices if desired

Step 1 – Heat ghee in a soup pan, crackle cumin seeds in it.
Step 2 – Add ginger-garlic paste, grated corn, water, milk and corn flour mixture and boil the soup for 10minutes. I usually add corn roundels to the boiling soup. These can be eaten while sipping the soup.
Step 3 – Season and serve the soup hot.


9) Italian Minestrone

1 tsp oil
1tbsp small carrot dices
1 tsp chopped celery
1 tbsp chopped onion
1 large tomato diced
2 – 3 basil leaves
1 tbsp macaroni
1 tbsp red kidney beans (rajma), soaked
Seasoning – Oregano & Salt

Step 1 – Heat oil in large pot. Add carrot, celery, onion, tomato and basil leaves. Pour 1 cup water and boil for 5 minutes.
Step 2 – Add kidney beans and macaroni to the pot and pour another cup of water. Boil till the pasta and rajma is cooked. You might have to add more water till everything cooks.
Step 3 – Season the soup and serve hot.


10) Chicken Noodle Broth

150 gms boneless chicken breast
2 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoons vinegar
4 whole peppercorns
1 tbsp chopped ginger
2 sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp whole corn
25 gms noodles

Step 1 – Simmer chicken, oil, vinegar, peppercorns and ginger in 5 cups of water for 30 minutes.
Step 2 – Strain the stock and shred the chicken. Discard remaining items.
Step 3 – Put the stock in a large boiling pot. Add noodles, mushrooms and whole corn to the pan and boil till noodles cook.
Step 4 – Serve soup hot garnished with chopped spring onion greens. Serve accompanied with soy sauce or red chilli sauce
.


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