My friend Sandhya had this request on the blog's facebook page - "hey need help... i need to make vegetable soup with no veggies visible. if i grind the veggies it tastes yuck what do i do?"
I promised her I'll make it soon and blog about it. So, here it is Sandy - hope this helps. Do try it and I hope little Sanjay will like his soup!
Before I go on to the recipe, I just wanted to quickly bring up something. I watched this program - Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on TV last night and I'm totally stumped by what I saw. The program talks about eating habits in America - and the focus is on Huntington, West Virginia. This town is the most unhealthiest town in America - and when you watch it, you know why. Kids in school are fed pizza for breakfast! Yeah..You heard it right. Pizza for breakfast and mashed potatoes made out of completely processed potato pearls! There is no fresh food served at school and they pride themselves in having a system that works and follows regulations!
I think every parent with kids in American schools should watch this program and make sure they talk to their school cafeterias about what is served. I also think that you should watch this with your kids so they understand what's good and what's bad. Kids are our future and we better teach them to respect their own bodies. Please check this link for the video - http://abc.go.com/shows/jamie-olivers-food-revolution you might be able to view the video for a week or so. Catch the series on ABC if possible. Go Jamie Oliver for starting this wonderful revolution!
Now, moving on to the recipe. This is a simple and wonderful soup with 10 different kinds of veggies. You could add more veggies if you like too. The more the better!
Here I have all of my veggies. Clockwise starting from bottom left - Tomato, Green Beans, Fresh Spinach, Carrots, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Green Bell Pepper, Onions and Beetroots and Green Peas in the center.
Chop all the veggies roughly. Cut a couple of small beetroots and wash multiple times in water - this helps dilute some of the color. Do not add too much beetroot or the soup will be purple. If you're in the US, using canned stewed tomatoes will give a wonderful color to the soup - but this is not available everywhere in India. So, I wanted to just go with the fresh tomatoes. But, fresh tomatoes with so many other veggies will not give a good red color - hence the beets to add in some color to the soup. And if the soup is red, its easier to pass it on as tomato soup to the kids! They don't have to know about the other 9 veggies!
In a pressure cooker, add about 1 tbsp of oil. When the oil it hot, add 1 tsp of Jeera and about 10-12 whole black pepper. This adds flavor and some spice to the soup. You can skip this and instead add pepper powder on top while serving if you prefer that.
Next, add some chopped ginger and about 2-3 green chillies. Fry everything for a min. You could also add chopped garlic for added flavor.
Next, add the chopped onions and fry for a min. When they become translucent, add the bell peppers and fry for another min.
When you see the cabbage leaves wilting, throw in the fresh spinach and fry a little bit until that blends in.
Then, add the rest of the chopped veggies.
Now is the time to add spices. There are only 3 seasoning I added here - Salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. How simple is that? You do not need any extra masala - just keep it simple. The veggies have so much flavor in them, that is more than sufficient. Add the salt and red chilli powder as per your taste. As for the turmeric, add about 1 tsp. This turmeric also helps in the color and mixes in with the purple of the beets and controls the soup from becoming purpilicious! And the wonderful benefits of turmeric are an added bonus!
Mix all the veggies and spices together well. Make sure that all veggies get a good coating of the spices.
Now, add about 4-5 cups of water to this. You could add vegetable broth - but really, you're making it in the process - so water should just be fine.
Make sure that all the veggies are completely covered and you have maybe a half an inch extra water on top.
Pressure cook the veggies for about 4-5 whistles.
Once the steam settles, open the cooker - voila - look at that beautiful color - can you see the red in here now?
When the soup has cooled down a bit, move it to a blender and blend until really smooth.
Look at that color now - pour the blended soup back to the pan and set the stove to simmer. Let this boil for a few mins. Check the salt and add more if needed. Also, check the consistency - if its too thick, add some water to thin it down. If its too thin - well..just drink it like that!
Add 1 tbsp of butter to the soup to add a little bit of richness and a whole lot of flavor to the soup. This will also help cut down the spice of the black peppers - especially for kids.
Be proud of yourselves for making such a healthy and wonderful soup for your family. Now, I like chunky vegetable soup - so I just poured myself a bowl before blending the soup. I love the bite I get in every spoonful of soup. So, if you like chunky soup too - forget the whole blending workout and just soup it up like that!
And for all those people in your house who don't want spinach getting in between their teeth or having to bite down a piece of black pepper - serve them this wonderful smooth 10 vegetable soup!
And what's a great soup like this worth without a great side kick! Just like every successful man had a successful side kick with him (think Goundamani and Sendhil) this soup has my wonderful panini sandwich to go to town with!
To make the panini sandwich, I just used whole wheat bread. Cut off the sides. Add a few leaves of fresh spinach on either side. Add a couple of slices of tomatoes and then a few small pieces of onions. Top off with just a little bit of shredded mozzarella cheese (Ricotta works great too).
Fold the slices together and grill in a panini maker or a sandwich maker.
Serve hot soup with a side of grilled paninis!
Enjoy. Peace Out!