Our winter dinners are mostly soup based with the plethora of lovely winter veggies and the chill in the air. Sharing some of my favourite winter soups below.
Borscht style Beetroot Soup
This hearty borscht style soup doesn’t need much accompaniments, just a toast will do. The addition of sour cream takes it few notches up.
Recipe (for 4 cups)
- 2 beetroot, peel and slice thinly
- 1 potato, slice thinly
- 1 carrot chopped
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 1 medium onion – chopped
- 4-5 garlic pods – chopped
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 4 cups Veg/chicken stock or use Veg/chicken broth powder mixed in 4 cups water
- 2-3 sprigs of chopped dill leaves (use parsley/basil alternatively)
- 1 chopped celery stick (optional)
- 2 tbsp butter
- Salt, pepper
- To garnish – dill/parsley, 1 tbsp Sour cream
- Heat butter (don’t let it burn), add onion and garlic and sauté a bit. Add rest of veggies, and sauté for few mins.
- Add broth, salt, pepper, and pressure cook for 20-25 mins (put on medium heat after a few whistles come).
- Let pressure escape by itself, then open and use a hand-blender to blend everything well.
- Top with some fresh herbs, fresh pepper and a dollop of sour cream.
This one is great for all seasons, though the lovely winter kinnows give a great flavor.
Recipe (for 4 Bowls )
4-5 carrots – peeled & chopped
2 tbsp butter
5-6 shallots/spring onions(only the white part)-chopped
1/2 inch ginger – peeled & chopped\
1/2 potato (peeled and sliced. This is optional, just to add some thickness)
1/2 tsp stock powder (I used a veg bouillon powder)
1 orange or kinnow – Juiced
A bit of orange/kinnow zest (use a grater or knife if dont have a zester, only the orange part, not the white part)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
To garnish- 4 orange/kinnow slices, few pinches of ground sugar, basil, herb seasoning
Heat butter and stir-fry the onions, ginger.
Add the carrots, potato, stock powder, zest, salt, pepper, water and cook in a pressure cooker for few whistles.
Open and grind it well with a hand blender or mixer, don’t really need to sieve it.
Add more water as needed, lemon juice, orange juice and cook a bit till correct consistency reached.
Caramelised orange slices for garnishing : Heat a little bit butter in a pan. Rub the orange slices with a pinch of ground sugar on both sides and grill.
Mushroom Soup with Extra Virgin Olive Oil/Truffle Olive Oil
Truffle oil adds a lovely flavor to this soup, though an Extra virgin olive oil works great too
Recipe (for 4 Cups )
2 packs/400 gm mushrooms – sliced
Shitake/porcini dried – 3-4 if have, else skip.
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp butter/garlic butter
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
One medium onion chopped
Some herb like thyme or Rosemary
3 cups chicken/veg stock (I used a homemade chicken stock, else use broth powder)
Truffle oil/Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle
Soak shitake/porcini mushroom in one cup warm water if using, for about an hour.
Heat oil, add onion and cook on low heat till its brown. Add garlic and rosemary and sauté for 2 mins.
Add mushroom and sauté for 5-6 mins. Remove a few to garnish later. Chop the soaked shitake/porcini and add (if using) and cook for few minutes more.
At this point, I dunked everything in soup maker (removed the rosemary twigs), with chicken stock, the water used to soak shitake, butter, salt, pepper and ran it on a Smooth cycle.
If no soup maker, then keep cooking and add stock, some water, and let it simmer on low heat for 30 mins. Add salt, pepper and blend the soup to get a smooth soup, sieve if needed.
Drizzle a good swig of truffle/Extra Virgin olive oil when serving.
Chicken Soup with Noodles
Perfect for winter dinners , this is my simple version of Thukpa
Recipe (for 2 Bowls )
Chicken stock – 2 cups (or use half a stock cube or broth powder, though an actual stock will be way more healthier.
Sliced boneless chicken – 1 cup
2 cups sliced vegetables – I used carrots, beans, spring onion, capsicum, and some spinach leaves
2-3 garlic cloves – crush and slice
Handful of cooked noodles (any noodles are fine – usual ones/rice /wheat/udon etc)
1 tsp – Oil, Salt, pepper, Celery/coriander
Heat oil and stirfry the chicken with the garlic till looks half- done.
Add the vegetables, stirfry for a min. Add the chicken stock, bring to boil and simmer for few mins till chicken cooked.
Adjust salt, pepper, add some celery/coriander. To serve, put the noodles in a bowl and top with the soup.
Chicken Stock recipe
- 500-600 gms – Chicken bones and a few fleshy chicken pieces.
- 1 tbsp butter, 3-4 garlic pods
- Some whole spices – I use 2 bay leaves, 1 star-anise and 1 stick Cinnamon, Salt, pepper1 chopped onion, 1 chopped carrot, some cabbage, celery(optional), handful of coriander stems & roots.
- In a pressure cooker, add the butter, whole spices, stir-fry and then add the chicken and brown the chicken pieces a bit. Then add rest of the ingredients and sauté for a bit.
- Add about 1 to 1.5 ltr water and put pressure for few whistles, and let simmer on medium heat in the cooker for about 30-35 mins. Then turn off heat and open the cooker once all steam has escaped by itself.
- Strain the stock and discard the veggies. Shred the meat from the fleshy chicken pieces and save for adding in soup or sandwiches.I usually make the stock once a week or 10 days and freeze it.
Thai Pumpkin Soup
Winters brings these gorgeous deep orange pumpkins and this is my favourite winter soup. Its almost like slurping a Thai curry !
Recipe (for 4 Bowls )
400 gms pumpkin sliced thinly (use the orange pumpkin for better taste and color)
1 tbsp Thai Red curry paste
4 cups Veg stock or use stock powder/cube dissolved in water.
200 ml Coconut milk
3-4 garlic pods – chopped
1 tbsp butter
A small bunch Thai Basil leaves (skip if cant find as the other Italian basil doesnt do anything for Thai flavours).
Salt/pepper to taste
Chilli oil to garnish (optional)
Saute the curry paste in 1 tbsp oil/butter, add the garlic and pumpkin and saute a bit. Then add some stock (not all) and pressure cook for few whistles.
Open and blend with a blender (or in a mixie), no need to sieve.
Then add the rest of stock , coconut milk, salt, pepper, basil leaves and cook till get correct consistency.
Garnish with a bit of chilli oil(optional)
Tomato Eggdrop Soup
This recipe has been adapted from my favourite Asian Chef, Marion Grasby’s channel, I even had the same bowls as her to take a photo.
Recipe (for 2 Bowls )
2 tomatoes , cut in wedges (for best taste, use ripe desi tomatoes)
1 tsp sesame oil (or any refined oil)
2 garlic clove – grated
2 cups chicken/veg stock (can also use a broth powder/cube also, mix in 1 tsp broth powder or 1/2 cube in water)
1 egg – whisked
1 tsp cornflour (mixed in bit of water)
1 tsp light soy sauce
Salt, freshly ground pepper
1 spring onion, sliced
Heat oil, add the tomatoes and garlic and cook for few minutes till tomatoes get mushy.
Add the stock and simmer for a minute.
Pour the egg in middle of soup and stir to form a lacy egg.
Add the cornflour, soy sauce, salt, pepper, spring onion(save some for garnish) and simmer for a minute. Garnish with the spring onion.
Tomato Pepper Shorba
Goes wonderful in those cold wintery nights or when you are nursing a stuffed nose or sinus.
Recipe (for 2 -3 cups )
4-5 medium sized ripe desi tomatoes
Make a paste of – 1 onion, 1 inch ginger, 4-5 garlic pods.
2 tsp Mustard oil (or ghee or butter)
½ lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
Coriander leaves to garnish
Blanch tomatoes in hot water for few minutes, , peel the skin and make a puree.
In a pan, heat the oil/butter, add the Onion paste, and sauté it on low flame till raw smell goes away.
Add the pureed tomatoes and sauté till water evaporates.
Now add 2 glasses of water, cover the pan and bring the shorba to boil, then keep it covered and let is simmer for 5-10 mins.
Add lemon juice, pepper and coriander leaves.