Archives for category: Soups

Soups are brilliant for these cold winter months fastly approaching here and I although I didn’t used to much of a soup fan, that rapidly diminished when I realized how easily they could be made. Growing up mostly on Indian food, granted we have many soup/daals, I used to find some Western dishes daunting, especially soup. I’m not sure why, guess it was just down to the way it came in the tins and looked so foreign to me and from tasting some pretty bland attempts. That of course changed when I realized it is the simple hand blender that can make soup out of anything. Although nothing beats a Heinz tomato soup, I do enjoying making my own variations and last time I was sick I actually looked forward to making some nice soups to make me feel better and blitzed every meal.

This is a lovely wholesome soup, and even though you could easily use vegetable stock cubes, I chose to put my own selection of veg in with the pumpkin and lentils and it tasted perfect. Another thing with growing up on Indian food, in my house anyway, is the way I was brought up on very little packets and cans of instant food. Indian food is surprisingly easy to make with fresh ingredients and even now with other dishes I make, I like to add as little as I can of pre-packaged food which is full of additives and preservatives. Of course we all need a helping hand so I don’t rule them out completely, it’s just I prefer to cook without them. This of course means food can look different and taste different, but being creative and putting in a little more effort is always worth it I think.

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Mung Beans are such a healthy bean and one of my favourites. They taste incredibly wholesome and don’t need soaking if cooking in a pressure cooker so can be cooked very quickly and great with some rice or whatever you feel like. Popular with Chinese, Indian and other cooking they are incredibly versatile and can be cooked in many different ways.

This Mung daal soup is a classic and very easy to make even if you don’t have a pressure cooker.

First you need to wash the beans in a few rinses of water, beans can be stored in dirt and stones for long amounts of time so you need to get them sparkling. Then cook the beans  with a roughly chopped tomato, and some salt, turmeric and red chilli powder.  In a pressure cooker this should take no longer than 10-15 minutes, 30 minutes if just a regular pot. Do check for the water drying out if you’re not sure and when the beans are soft and falling apart they are ready. Some beans take longer to cook and it really depends on what you buy. You could leave them to soak the night before to guarantee a shorter cooking time.

As this is cooking away, you finely chop your garlic cloves, a small chunk of ginger and some fresh chillis for a little kick. When the beans are soft, they need a good stir and with the fried mustard seeds and some fresh coriander they’ll taste wholesome and packed with flavour. Feel free to experiment with more spices. I really believe the key to good Indian cooking is taking the less is more approach. Really letting the food speak for itself and using more spices where needed.  This simple soup is great to make when you’re hungry and fills you up for hours.

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