Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Lemon Coriander Vegetable Soup
Delhi has just been so cold since the beginning of 2010 (well not as cold as for some of you in the UK and US!) and even though Lori/Makar Sankranti is barely two days away, there is no sign of the cold, fog filled days relenting.
It becomes even worse when you return from an amazing holiday in a forest reserve - where the temps are pleasant, the days are filled with the most picturesque sights and nature enthralls you. Then these 5C nights and mist filled, bone chilling days are just not welcome - sigh, I wished I had extended our vacation by 3 days instead of one!!
Our train was delayed by 3 hours (it's a tribute to how much I have honed my hitherto non- existent patience levels, that I am able to mention such a fact without pulling my hair out) which seemed infinitely better than the 11 hours delay on the way up! (see?! this is what having a 4 year old can do to you - mention a 11 hour delay without batting an eyelid because you are operating on the principle that if you don't get stressed, she won't too - which I won't mention whether it worked or not on the grounds of jinxing it!)
The afternoon meal was a quick one, meant for sustenance with whatever was languishing in the refrigerator; but by evening I was chilled to the bone and needed some soul warming fare. Enter a variant of my favourite kind of soup - spicy, lemony and full of punch!
The vegetables I used were babycorn, mushrooms and bell peppers as well as a carrot - they lend a lot of flavour to soup. The one thing different from my usual method was that I used a tbsp of Better than Bouillon Onion Gravy concentrate in addition to the sauces and it gave a nice, brown colour to the soup as well as thickening it a little. A stock cube or just home made stock will work great as well. I couldn't avoid my favourite "gondhoraj" lemon leaf either - the flavour it imparts is simply fabulous. I dunked a bunch of coriander into the soup when it was cooking and it was just perfect.
Ginger - 2" knob either whole or grated
Garlic - 4 cloves chopped fine
Green chillies - 3-4 sliced
Mixed vegetables sliced - 1.5 cups (babycorn, peppers, mushrooms,carrot)
Stock cube dissolved in 4 cups of water or 4 cups of stock (I used a tbsp of Better than Bouillon dissolved in warm water)
salt and pepper powder to taste
Soy sauce - 1 tsp
Green chilli sauce - 1 tsp
1 tsp oil
1 lemon leaf
a small bunch of coriander (soaked and washed thoroughly), roots removed and tied in a small bundle.
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Pour oil in a heavy bottomed pan or pot and heat; add the onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies and saute on high for 1 minute, then on low for 3-4 minutes till the onion softens.
2. Add the mixed vegetables, soy sauce, chilli sauce and saute for a minute.
3. Then add the stock water along with one more cup of water and bring to boil; put in the coriander bunch and season with salt and simmer covered for 10-12 minutes till the vegetables are cooked but still crunchy.
4. Add the lemon leaf and lemon juice, the pepper powder and cover and let sit for 5 more minutes.
5. Remove the ginger knob and the coriander bunch from the soup and serve the soup steaming hot in bowls.