Well ... yes, it isn't officially winter yet, but it is *so* damn cold outside! And yet, there isn't enough snow in the mountains! Where's all the fresh powder, huh? *grumble* *grumble*
Cold weather often brings nostalgic cravings for warm and cozy food - a cup of piping hot chai (like Nags' daily drink :)), yummy onion pakoras, my mum's rasam or maybe a bowl of thick soup replete with late fall flavors!
Well, the last is what I settled for, especially with all the yummy bread left over from the Daring Bakers' Challenge. An old favorite cookbook - the Complete Encyclopedia came to the rescue here with a fabulous sounding smooth soup - just the ticket to warm the soul!
The original recipe called for potatoes and turnips - well, the bread was teeming with potato flavors, so I chose to skip that. And I was sans turnips, so that was out too! Instead, I went with some extra parsnip and some garlic.
Winter Warmer Soup
Perfectly legal on a cold fall day! :)
2 carrots - chopped
1 large parsnip - chopped
1 medium onion - chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 T olive oil
1 t red pepper flakes
3/4 cup of milk
1/3 cup yogurt
freshly ground pepper
1 t fresh lemon juice
a handful of chopped basil
Heat the oil in a stockpot and lightly roast the vegetables (other than the ginger) along with the red pepper flakes for about 3-4 minutes.
Once you can smell the roasted veggies, especially the parsnip (trust me, you can! :)), add about 1 cup of water and cook partially covered on low for about 20 minutes.
Strain the veggies (retain the water in the stockpot) and puree them along with the ginger in a food processor.
Add the puree back into the stockpot and mix it with the residual water.
Add the milk, heat gently and stir for about 2-3 minutes.
Take the soup off the stove and stir in the yogurt along with the pepper, salt and lemon juice.
Stir in the chopped basil before serving.
A few slices of the potato bread topped with tapenade was the perfect accompaniment to this yummy winter soup. I used a couple of variations here - one was to use minced olives with bell peppers and feta cheese. The other one was chopped eggplant, zucchini and peppers marinated lightly in an olive-oil/wine vinegar reduction.
Happy! Very Happy!
I think Kalyn will like this for her current Weekend Herb Blogging event - basil is always a favorite - especially with all the cultural associations. I love memories of the tulsi plants in our backyard - my mum would do the puja for it everyday while my sis and I nibbled on the leaves! *so* delicious :)
This soup is totally in honor of Bindu - a true reminder of all the fall days we spent together eating, talking and hanging out.