Sharmi on the Trot

Travelling, Exploring, Eating…

Archive for the tag “soup”

Hot And Sour Chicken Soup with Brown Rice

I love soups. They are comforting and healthy (usually). I love those days when you want to stay in bed with a book and making soup to feed yourself hardly takes time. I love those snug winter evenings when only hot soups can warm you. This one time in Kathmandu, while winter was receeding and it wasn’t yet summer, only a homemade bowl of hot soup could uplift me! And those soups taste the best!
In the winters I prefer the thick continental ones which need to be pureed. In the summers I prefer more broth-based ones which are simple to make and easy on the stomach.
Most South East Asian broths call for handmade egg noodles in them. I prefer to add brown rice in mine because it’s healthier and makes a wholesome balanced meal. Devour a bowl and you’re left satisfied.
PS: Since I’ve been on this South-East Asian flavours swing for a couple of weeks now, making this over and over again is my excuse!
Ingredients
250g boiled chicken (shredded)
1 small carrot (chopped finely)
1 onion (chopped finely)
2 cloves of garlic (chopped finely)
2 tsp Tom Yum paste
1 cup button mushrooms (roughly chopped)
1 cup oyster mushrooms (shredded with hands)
1 litre chicken stock
1 lime (juiced)
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 cup brown rice
Salt to season
Handful bean sprouts
chives to decorate
1 tsp vegetable oil
– Heat the oil in a deep container which can hold a lot of liquid
– Sweat the carrots, onion and garlic till fragnant (about two minutes)
– Add the Tom Yum paste and saute till everything is a nice reddish colour
– Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil
– Then bring the stock to a gentle simmer. Add the mushrooms, salt, boiled chicken and brown rice.
– Clamp on a lid and let the soup be till the rice is cooked through. (about 10 minutes)
– Pour the lemon juice, fish sauce and give everything a good stir. Check for seasoning.
– Ladle a serving in a bowl, garnish with chives and bean sprouts!
A bowl of warmth in winter!

A bowl of warmth in winter!

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Easy Thai-inspired lunch

These days I’ve been cooking a lot of Thai or Thai-influenced food. Maybe my Thai visa could have something to do with it! Yes yes I shall soon be heading there to taste the authentic stuff but till then, I have to make do with what I can cook at home.
I love the balance of flavours found in the cuisine. The harmony so perfect, no element overpowering the other. Tom Yum Soup is one of my all-time favourites and I make it often for lunch or dinner. But, instead of the usual ingredients, I like to play around sometimes with the unusual. Carrots instead of prawns? Why not I say!
It’s still slightly chilly in Delhi so why not make the most of it, right? So, a simple lunch I did make — Tom Yum soup with carrots accompanied by chicken and basil brown bread sandwiches…

Ingredients
Soup (Serves 4)
1 medium size carrot (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped finely)
1 lemon grass (the tender stalk, chopped)
4 kaffir lime leaves (chopped finely)
1 red chilly (deseeded and chopped finely)
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
3 tsp Tom Yum paste
1 lemon (juice)
1 litre chicken/vegetable stock
Coriander to garnish

Sandwiches
(I’ve started keeping roasted/grilled chicken in the freezer. I can shred it and use it where ever I fancy)
12 slices brown bread (for the health conscious)
2 tbsp mayonnaise
Handful chicken (roasted or grilled but shredded)
8 fresh basil leaves (finely chopped)
1 cube processed cheese (grated)
Salt to taste

In a deep pot with a cover, add all the ingredients (except coriander) for the soup and put it on the heat. Once the stock comes to a boil, simmer it till a gorgeous smell envelopes your kitchen. Garnish with coriander and serve hot.

While the soup is boiling away, mix the mayo, chicken, basil, cheese and salt. Spread evenly on six bread slices and cover with the remaining six. Cut into triangles. An easy lunch under 15 minutes!

Created with Nokia Smart Cam
NOTE: Feel free to substitute the chicken with any grilled or roasted vegetables

Of coriander and winter

Yummy!

Yummy!

I love winter. The nip in the air, the warm jackets and feel of soft woolens, long long walks just before sunset, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, four-hour long brunches where you eat more than your stomach can hold really… there’s something about this season which makes me feel so nostalgic. Joyous that after long summers and drenched monsoons, the cold chill (in the good way of course) will make everything alright. It also helps that Christmas recipes, cards and decorations can be found everywhere.

I love food, especially in winters when jackets and over-sized, but sexy, sweaters hide the bloated stomach after long brunch sessions. And come 25th, I’ll be gorging on roasts but during the few months that Delhi succumbs to winter, my favourite meal is soup. Be it a light broth or heavy with cream, I can eat soup all day long. (I go with the traditional eat rather than drink, the intensity of the debate has gone beyond imagination really.)

Walking by the vegetable market recently, I came across a seller displaying only greens and gorgeous herbs. Of course I stopped because when fresh mint, coriander (cilantro, dhania), parsley and spinach call out your name, what other choice do you have? Anyway I bought a lot of coriander among many other things because I love the smell. The freshness it adds to dishes just takes them beyond the realm of ordinary. Sprinkle some over salads or lentils (dal), or give it a starring role, everything just tastes that much better.

So here I was with a LOT of coriander and winter engulfing me. The only sensible thing to do was to make soup! So, I made lemon-coriander soup to tickle my tastebuds with, but of course, a twist.

Lemon coriander soup (for those wonderful winter days)

Ingredients 

(Serves 6)

Handful of coriander (stalk et al, chopped)

1 Lemon

1 small onion (chopped)

2 cloves of garlic (crushed)

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

Salt

Stock cube (You can make your stock from scratch if you have the time)

1 litre water (heated)

The process

In a pot heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add onions and garlic and saute till translucent. Add the stock (handmade or stock cube mixed with hot water). Add salt and chilli flakes and bring the liquid to a boil. Throw in 3/4 of the chopped coriander and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon. Simmer for 1 minute and take the pot of the heat. Garnish each bowl with fresh coriander, pour the lemony liquid over and serve hot. A treat for the cold winter days or nights.

PS: Feel free to add vegetables like corn, mushrooms, capsicum or herbs such as oregano, basil and thyme. I often make this soup adding dried basil flakes with corn and extra lemon to make it more zingy.

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