Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Winter warmer soup

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! :)

Servings: 4

2 carrots - chopped

1 large parsnip - chopped
1 medium onion - chopped
4 cloves garlic

1" ginger
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.


Kalyn said...

So lovely, and it sounds just delicious! Just spicy enough to be interesting. BTW, if you don't have enough snow there you can always come to Utah, right now we have more than enough! (I'm not a fan of the snow!

Asha said...

Slurp!! I make soup in Summer too, cold soups!:D
Looks great Kay, love to have it now. It's quite cold here now!:))

Kribha said...

Soups everywhere! But who can get tired of soups in this cold winter. Loved your presentation with that potato bread. One question...can milk or cream be substituted for curd?

Swaroopa said...

looks delicious!! yeah, its perfectly leagal....

Shweta said...

Superb! I have some turnips lying in my fridge, time to put them to good use :)

Namratha said...

Hmm, nothing like a hot bowl of soup to dig into on a cold day..I made some too last night, it sure is freezing outside! will try yours one of these days Kay..

Rajitha said...

soup looks great...i have never tried parsnips..never got motivated..maybe this will push me..

Suma Gandlur said...

Looks delicious. I love the color of your soup.

Cynthia said...

Yeah the colour of the soup is rather inviting.

KayKat said...

Hey Kribha,

You can totally use milk instead of yogurt or buttermilk here. Cream will probably make it really rich, so I would suggest cutting back on the cream if you use that instead. I'd love to hear about your attempt :)

Laurie Constantino said...

I love the look of this soup with the yogurt stirred in - and my fridge is full of exactly the right kinds of vegetables for this. And it is definitely winter where I live, no matter what the calendar says, so thanks!

Helene said...

Oh Krishna, this sounds inviting. I do a similar soup in winter. It really warms me up and all the family are licking plates!! Great photos!!

Sophie said...

Using milk and yogurt is such a great healthy touch (so many creamy soups are a bit rich and fatty for my taste)