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Healthy eating – Soups

Soups are nourishing, filling, and easy to make – especially if you have a pressure cooker.  So they make for easy meals – and I am a big fan of the one-dish meal!

Remember to wash the vegetables well before you cut them – never wash veg after cutting.

Personally, I think just about any soup-able veg that’s pressure cooked with onion and then pureed with salt and pepper and a wee dollop of butter makes pretty good soup.

Another easy idea for soup is pressure cooking veg like beans, cauliflower, carrots, peas, tomatoes, pumpkin, etc. and then simmering them in vegetable stock – adding your favorite flavor – and enjoying them.

Accompanied with bread, soups make a happy sumptuous meal.

So, here we go with some really simple soups. Most make 2-3 servings, sometimes for the same person, if you reeee-ally love soups.

Spinach Soup

3 cups fresh spinach

1 tsp. chopped onions

1 tbs. ghee

1/2 tsp. black pepper powder

1 tsp. salt

1 cup water

1/4 cup soya milk (optional)

Wash the spinach leaves and boil them in a cup of water. Blend this. Heat ghee. Sauté the onions. Add blended spinach and salt and pepper. You can add a little soya milk, but that’s optional.

Mixed Vegetable Soup (Serves 4)

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 large potato, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1/2 cup green beans, chopped

1/2 cup green peas

1 large turnip, chopped

1/4 cup chopped cauliflower pieces

1/4 cup shredded cabbage

2 celery stalks, sliced

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. sweet basil

1/2 tsp. black pepper powder

1 small piece ginger, chopped

1 onion, chopped

4 cups water

salt and butter to taste

1/2 cup fresh coconut milk (optional, for creamy soup)

Run the tomatoes with two cups water in a blender. And  strain it.  Pressure cook the remaining ingredients with the blended tomato and cook for say, three min. Dress with a bit of butter and enjoy, hot.

My Mom preferred to pressure cook all the ingredients and then blend the whole thing for a creamy kind of texture – but that’s diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks. Here’s where you add the optional coconut milk for it to turn out creamy.

I could go on to talk about carrot soup, etc. but having read the above, am sure you get the idea. Let me tell you about one of my personal favorites – The exotic Gazpacho. Yummy Spanish. My best friend would often arrive with a huge bowl of this at my place, whenever she made it. She also used to bring a lovely birthday cake about two months before my birthday and insist I got the date wrong, but that’s another nostalgically wonderful story.


What you need – Serves 4-6 (yep – it is worth it to make this and enjoy it over two days)

450g large ripe tomatoes

1 large onion

2 cloves garlic

1 green pepper

1 red pepper

½ cucumber

2 slices whole wheat bread

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp wine vinegar

1 ¼ cups tomato juice

1 ¼ cups water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to:

1 Skin tomatoes, discard seeds and juice and chop the flesh. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Remove pith and seeds from peppers and dice.

2 Peel and dice the cucumber. Cut the crusts from the bread and dice. Put vegetables and bread in a large bowl, pour over the remaining ingredients, stir and season. Chill well – overnight is best for a good tasty soup.

3 You can partly blend the soup if you wish, or blend all of it, in which case offer small bowls of chopped onions, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and croutons (side eats, fried eats) as a garnish.

The thing about soups is that you can make just about any soup when you have what the French called “Mirepoix” a combination of onions, carrots, and celery. The Wikipedia description is: “Mirepoix, either raw, roasted or sautéed with butter, is the flavor base for a wide number of dishes, such as stocks, soups, stews and sauces. The three ingredients are commonly referred to as aromatics.”

So – there’s your easy base for making a soup. Never throw away the water you drain from pressure cooking your veg. That is nutrient-rich. I cheat by just adding some buttermilk and storing it in a huge mug and drinking it through the morning. Too lazy to make the soup just for myself.

Do send in your comments – and additions – and questions. Would be great. I was thinking I’d add some “salads” next week. What do you think?

0 18 December, 2010 Food Recipe, Health December 18, 2010

About the author

Vidya's healthy concoctions (read: health posts) makes the perfect cup of GingerChai for body and soul of our readers. Follow @vidyasury You can read her personal concoctions in her personal blog, Going A-Musing

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  1. Nandini

    My son refuses to eat spinach. I tried the spinach soup and miracle! he loved it. Thanks a tonnnn Vidya. I added a dollop of butter though.

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