Enjoy Chef Sabyasachi Gorai‘s steaming hot bowl of creamy Monsoon Vegetable Soup with a slice of crusty bread.
The soup contains nutritious vegetables and a good amount of rich-in-oxidants walnuts.
Chef Saby is well known for his dishes that marry international cuisines with local or regional flavours and ingredients, like his signature Kheema Egg Benedict.
- WONDERFUL RECIPES
Creamy Vegetable Soup
- 400 gm broccoli
- 1 ready avocado (please see the note below)
- 1 lime, both the zest or grated peel and juice
- 200 gm cream cheese, low fat preferably
- 1 small carrot, peeled
- 1 small zucchini
- ½ l vegetable stock (please see the note below)
- Salt to taste
- Dash pepper
- Dash nutmeg
- 150 gm walnuts, chopped and lightly roasted
- Cut the broccoli into small-ish pieces and remove the tough parts of the stalk.
Boil a saucepan filled with about 2 cups water over low heat.
Add a pinch of salt.
Once the water begins to boil, blanch the broccoli in it for 5 minutes and drain.
Puree the broccoli in a mixer/blender with a little of the water.
- Peel the avocado, remove the seed, and mash its pulp with the lemon juice.
Stir in the cream cheese.
- Cut the carrot and the unpeeled zucchini into very thin strips ie julienne.
Blanch them briefly and keep aside.
- Heat the vegetable stock along with the broccoli puree in a large saucepan.
Season with the pepper, salt, nutmeg.
Add the avocado-cheese-mixture and keep stirring.
Heat gently, do not boil.
Take off heat, and add the chopped walnuts.
Pour into soup bowls and sprinkle the julienned blanched carrots and zucchini on top along with the lemon zest.
Serve with warm bread or garlic bread.
Editor’s Note: A perfectly ripe avocado will be firm and soft at the same time.
If you squeeze it, it would not get squashed, but would yield mildly to pressure.
Sometimes slightly under ripe or overripe avocados still taste fine — do a taste check before discarding an avocado.
Liquid broth is available in some gourmet food stores. Or substitute the vegetable broth by combining 1 vegetable soup cube or 1 vegetable broth/bouillon cube or 1 tsp vegetable broth/bouillon powder with 2 cups boiling water.
Or substitute the vegetable broth by combining 1 chicken soup cube or 1 chicken broth/bouillon cube or 1 tsp chicken broth/bouillon powder with 2 cups boiling water.
Or make vegetable broth from scratch by boiling 4-5 cups water with 1-2 large roughly chopped carrots, 3 stalks roughly chopped celery with leaves, 2 medium onions chopped in chunks, 5-6 whole black peppercorns, 2 tsp salt, 4 tbsp chopped parsley with stems, 2 laung or cloves, 5 pods garlic, 2 tej patta or bay leaves till vegetables are tender and the water is steeped with the flavour of the vegetables and spices.
Strain and use 2 cups for the recipe.
Meat lovers might like to add 1 whole chicken along with the vegetables and spices while making the broth.
Chef Saby has chosen to garnish this soup with blanched carrots and zucchini, but alternately you might like garnish it with equally healthy vegetables like sliced and sauteed mushrooms or garlic or lightly fried strips of red or yellow capsicum.
And for a little richness sprinkle some grated cheese. For spice, a dash of Tabasco.
For a different spin add a handful of uncooked pasta, mini fusilli or macaroni or bows along with stock, while boiling the soup.
For a vegan version of this soup, skip the cream cheese and instead add ½ cup of almond milk while mashing the avocado.
For a Jain version, omit the carrot.
Chef Sabyasachi Gorai is a consultant chef and mentor.
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