Thursday, December 26, 2013

Curried Butternut squash Basil soup

On a cold evening, our bellies were craving for some hot soup. I quickly scanned my kitchen resources and came up with an idea to make 'butternut squash soup'. Butternut squash, always remained an 'untouchable' in my refrigerator- the least preferred vegetable in my family. Hence, I picked few other veggies to make the soup palatable. I chose fresh basil leaves and curry powder to flavor the soup. I avoided oil/ butter for health reasons. I thoroughly enjoyed brainstorming this soup recipe and felt more content seeing my family relish the soup.

Butternut squash, cubed- 2 cups
Carrot, sliced - 1/3 cup
Tomato - 1
Asparagus, chopped- 1/4 cup
Red bell pepper, chopped- 1/4 cup
Celery, finely chopped- 2 tablespoon
Basil leaves- 6
Vegetable broth/ water - 2 cups
Curry powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Combine all the chopped veggies in a steamer. Add basil leaves when the veggies are half cooked. Cook them until tender. Do not overcook them!

Remove from heat and cool them.

Blend the steamed veggies with 2 cups of vegetable broth or warm water, salt, black pepper and curry powder.

If you prefer it piping hot then pour it into a pot and heat them to desired temperature.

Roast the veggies in oil or butter instead of steaming them.
Garnish with whipped cream/ sour cream

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Toasted Almond Broccoli Soup

Today I am here to share a simple, tasty and healthy soup recipe- without using oil or butter. I adopted this recipe from a recipe book that came along with my new blender. As I was scanning through the recipes, the almond broccoli soup caught my attention. I quickly rushed through the details and was excited to make it immediately. The original recipe had zucchinis; I omitted it due to lack of resource. I have never tasted or tried soups with toasted nuts- trust me! this soup was awesome(with the roasted almond flavour).

Almonds- 1/3 cup
Broccoli florets - 4 cups
Vegetable broth- 3 cups
salt and black pepper to taste

  • Steam the broccoli florets and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Blend the almonds in a blender for 30 seconds and toast them in the oven for 5 minutes or until it turns golden brown.
  • Leave 2 tablespoons of almond meal for garnishing; bring all the ingredients together in a blender and grind them to a smooth consistency.
  • Garnish with the toasted almond meal.
* Dry roasting on a low flame would be an alternative to toasting in oven. Saute them frequently for even toasting.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Basil Pesto Pasta

Basil Pesto sauce
Basil, fresh- 1 cup tightly packed
Pine nuts/ walnuts- 1/4 cup
Grapeseed oil- 1/4 cup
Lemon juice- 1/2 tablespoon
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

Basil Pesto Pasta
Pasta, uncooked- 1 cup
Sun Dried tomatoes- 2 tablespoon, finely chopped
frozen green peas- 1/2 cup
salt to taste
grated Parmesan cheese- 1/4 cup
grapeseed oil- 1 tablespoon
Milk- 1/8 cup (optional)
Pine nuts, to garnish- 1/8 cup (optional)


Basil Pesto sauce:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend it to a smooth paste.
  • If  you are using walnuts, either chop them before blending or pulse the walnuts first and then bleand it with the remaining ingredients.

Basil Pesto Pasta:

  • Boil water in a pot and cook the pasta a la dente with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt.
  • Drain the pasta and retain 1 cup of the pasta stock.
  • Heat a pan. Add the pesto sauce and pasta stock to make the sauce creamy.
  • Add the cooked pasta, frozen peas, sun dried tomatoes and milk(optional).
  • Cook for 5-10 minutes on a medium flame.
  • Turn off the heat and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and pinenuts.