By Life Positive August 2003 Soups may not have been a traditional part of Indian cuisine because our food itself, being laden with curries, dals and chutneys, has a soupy consistency. For the West, though, it has been an inevitable part of a well-designed menu. The British made the soup a part of our legacy as well, besides throwing up some unique items like the Mulligatawny soup, which actually means spicy water in Tamil. Because of its origins, most soup recipes are sourced from the West and require us to use exotic ingredients like leeks, celery, asparagus and broccoli. These may be available in the cities, but possibly not in smaller towns. Besides, many soups are generously laden with cream, butter, cheese, white sauce and the like. Those who wish to eat light for either physical or spiritual reasons will have to look elsewhere. Like down below, for instance. We owe centres like the Yoga Institute a vote of thanks for taking the trouble to design soups that involve little or no butter and oil and that make creative use of local ingredients like lauki and methi. Pumpkin SoupPumpkin: 1 kgGreen peas: 1 cupPotato: big oneCurry leaves (kadi patta): a fewCoriander leaves, chopped: small bunchMustard seeds: ½ tspMethi seeds: ½ tspCumin (jeera) seeds: ½ tspGinger: small piece (finely chopped)Butter: 1 tspCream: 1 tsp; Salt: to taste Cut pumpkin and potatoes into small pieces. Boil in water and strain. Keep the water aside to use as stock. Liquidise the potato and pumpkin mixture. Heat butter in a pan, add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and ginger. Now add green peas and finely chopped cabbage to the pan and fry for a few minutes. Pour in stock to get the required consistency. Add pumpkin mixture and salt to the preparation. Garnish with fresh cream and coriander. Serve hot. Vegetable SoupPotato: 1 (small) Bottle Gourd (lauki): 50 gmFrench beans: 4Carrot: ½ (small)Ginger: small pieceSalt: to tasteButter: 1 tsp Clean, chop and boil all vegetables together along with ginger. Liquidise, and boil, adding desired quantity of water. Add butter and salt. Serve hot. am of Carrot SoupCarrots: 250 gm (4 medium)Potatoes: 1 (big)Milk: ¾ cupSalt: to taste Water: 6 cups Chop vegetables. Add water and cook in slow fire until done. Blend in a liquidiser and stain and boil once more. Add milk and salt before serving. Serve hot. Palak Methi SoupSpinach (palak): 1 bunchMethi: a few sprigsTomato: 1Potato: ½, boiled.Lime juice: 2 tspWater: 4 cupsJaggery: to tasteSalt: to taste Clean and wash the palak, methi and tomato. Boil till tender. Add boiled potato and liquidise. Add jaggery and squeeze in lime juice. Serve hot. Green Peas Soup Green peas: 500 gm (shelled)Milk: 1 cupSemolina (rawa): 1 tspParsley: Chopped to tasteLettuce: a few leavesMint (pudina): one sprigCumin seeds: ½ tspMustard Seeds: ½ tspButter or ghee: 1 tspWater: 4 cupsSalt and sugar: to taste Boil the green peas. Mash well, keeping aside half-a-cup, and add water. In a pan, heat the butter or ghee and add mustard and cumin seeds. Add the chopped lettuce and semolina. Stir. Add peas, sugar and salt. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Just before serving add the milk, parsley and chopped mint. Serve hot. Mixed Vegetable SoupCabbage: 2 tbsp (finely chopped) Carrot: one, chopped into small cubesPotato: 1 finely choppedTomatoes: 3 (finely chopped)Salt: to tasteSugar: ½ tspPepper: ½ tspCornflour or wheat flour: 1 tsp. Add water to make into a pasteWater: 4 boiling cups Dry-roast tomato. Add the rest of the vegetables in boiling water and allow to cook until vegetables are tender. Add cornflour paste and stir until soup comes to a boil. Add salt, pepper and sugar. Serve hot.
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