So 2015 has finally dawned upon us and the last few weeks of indulging in some delicious and rich festive foods have now started to settle on the waist line oops! Are you thinking along the same line as I am? Dieting? No more Indulgence? Well I wouldn’t go as far as dieting, I’d say more of a Healthy eating plan where fresh fruit and vegetables will be at the forefront and indulging sugary and savoury items will be relished in moderation. After all they do say everything in moderation right ;)? Talking of which when it’s cold do you crave for something warm or hot and comforting? Something that will fill you up and prevent you from snacking? Soups are a great winter warmer with endless varieties but do you find that after an hour you start feeling peckish? In my case that’s a big yes, being vegetarian you’re always looking at balancing carbohydrates and proteins and a pure vegetable soup is not going to stop me from snacking after a while. Personally, being a huge fan of lentils, I love making and consuming different types of dal’s they are tasty, super nutritious, quick and easy. Here’s a recipe where country soup mix which is a wonderful mix of pearl barley, marrow fat peas, yellow/ green split peas, split red lentils and adzuki beans have been transformed with a selection of Gujarati spices and turned in a nutritious, hearty, healthy and comforting soup. A soup that can be enjoyed by the whole family, it requires less than a tablespoon of oil, has no added sugar and is suitable for vegans. Oh and if you are following Slimming world Plan, like I do then this whole recipe contains only 3 Syns making it less than 1 syn per portion 🙂
In Gujarati cuisine we tend to use Asafoetida ( AKA Hing) in a variety of dishes but mainly when cooking dal’s. Hing is a pungent spice that is used to enhance flavour and aroma. Moreover, it has been known to work as a digestive aid and helps to prevent flatulence. Asafoetida is always added during the tempering phase of cooking as the aroma and taste is more pleasant when cooked in heated oil or ghee.
Gujarati spiced thick country soup- Dairy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Sugar free, low oil
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Soaking time: 8-12 hours or overnight
Cooking time: 30-35 minutes (pressure cooker), 50-60 minutes (cooking in pot method)
1.5 Teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 Tsp Mustard seeds
1.5 Tsp Cumin seeds
Less than 1/4 tsp Asafoetida(Hing)- optional
1 Small green chilli-finely chopped
2 Tbsps grated ginger
15 leaves of curry leaves
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
250g Country soup mix or broth mix- Washed and soaked in water for 8-12 hours or overnight and drained.
2/2.5 litres of water
2 Tbsp tomato puree
1 Tsp salt- or to taste
1.5 Tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 Tbsp fresh coriander- chopped
1. Prior to making this soup, ensure you have soaked the soup mix as stated above.
2. In your non stick pressure cooker, heat oil, add mustard seeds, once they start to crackle add cumin seeds. Once cumin seeds are sizzling add asafoetida, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and turmeric. Stir for a few seconds to prevent from sticking.
3. Add soaked and drained country mix, water, tomato puree, salt and lemon juice and stir. Cook this mixture uncovered for about 4-5 minutes. Place the lid and whistle of pressure cooker and cook for 30 minutes on medium heat. The grains and lentils should be firm but cooked.
4. Uncover the lid and stir, taste and should you wish to add any extra spice you can do so such as red chilli powder, salt. Sprinkle and stir in some of the chopped coriander.
5. Using a ladle, spoon soup into bowls, garnish with remainder of coriander and serve hot. You can enjoy this on its own or serve with some freshly baked bread.
If you do not have a pressure cooker then worry not, you can still make this delicious soup in a pot over the hob. Just follow all of the above instructions. From step 3 on wards instead of cooking uncovered for 4-5 minutes, bring the mixture to a rapid boil for about 10 minutes, then reduced the heat, place the lid and simmer for 40 minutes.
I am entering this super tasty and healthy recipe to The Big Health Recipe Challenge hosted by The Health Bay.