There’s goodness in my soup!

Half of 2010 gets done today. It seems like yesterday that we were all wishing our friends some good wishes for the new 2010! Anyway, time to take stock and see where we are and where we want to reach and then change tracks or pick up speed if on the right track!

Taking stock also reminds me something little that we do at home in the rainy season. Keep a stock of food and essential pulses, masalas, tins and milk in tetrapacks. Never know when you need them on a rainy day. We also enjoy a variety of soups in the rainy season. They need not be hot, can be cold – something like Gazpacho.

Secret of a good soup is its foundation – a good stock. Thin soups in general are lower in nutritive content as compared to thick soups. Chicken sweet corn and green pea soups are especially valuable for their protein content. A bowl of spinach soup provides one third of an adult’s daily iron requirements. So if it is protein you are looking for try chicken, fish, egg, meat, lentils and beans as main ingredients in your soup. If you are wanting a vitamin and mineral rich soup make soups using vegetables like spinach, celery, carrot, peas, sprouts, cabbage and lettuce. South Indian rasam and saaru, the saar from Maharashtra and the osaman from Gujarat are light soups. Not only are they low in calories but are also a good source of vitamins and minerals.

A mixed vegetable soup is a clever way of giving vegetables to your young fusspots. It not only has vegetables but also the goodness of wheat flour and milk. As it is fibre rich it is good for the elders in the house too. Serve it with wheat and soya breadsticks and rest assured there will be no leftovers!

Cold soups are incredibly healthy form of soups, basically served chilled or at room temperature and they are as good as hot ones in terms of nutrition, taste and flavour. Just that one has to develop a taste to relish the subtle taste steeped in the cold soups while preparing them. There are simple tips which when followed would yield elegant and delicious cold soups.

  • Use fresh and ripe ingredients for brilliant results.Heavily season cold soups than hot ones, because the cold temperatures lessen the spice taste.
  • The soup can be served immediately, or you can cover and chill it so the flavours blend. For a colder soup that’s ready instantly, replace some of the liquid with crushed ice.
  • At the same time, the longer the soup sits in the refrigerator, the spicier it will taste. Four to ten hours is the optimal chilling time.
  • Before serving, chill the serving bowl and the individual soup bowls or mugs. Place them in the freezer for ten to fifteen minutes. And if using fine crystal ones, place in refrigerator for twenty to thirty minutes.

So are your soup spoons ready?

Chicken and Prawn Laksa
Cream of Vegetable Soup with Spinach
Dal Soup with Tomato

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor.

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