Carrot-parsnip soup with a spicy Thai twist

wortel-pastinaak

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

The ingredients:
– 400 g parsnip (3-4 roots)
– 400 g carrots
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 1 onion
– 2 shallots
– 0,5-1 tsp. Thai red curry paste
– 200 ml coconut milk
– 2 cubes of low fat chicken bouillon
– 1 tsp. coriander powder
– salt & pepper
– margarine (optional)

The work:
Clean the parsnip, the carrots, the onion and the shallots and gut in coarse pieces. Peel the cloves of garlic and cut in small pieces.
Put all vegetables you have just cut, the coriander and the cubes of chicken bouillon, into a pot and add 1 to 1,5 liter of water. The vegetables should be well covered with water. If your soup turns out to be to thick, you can still add water later.
Bring the soup to the boiling point. Then turn the heating lower, making sure the soup keeps boiling slowly. At that moment add 0,5-1 tsp. red curry paste, depending how spicy you want it to be.
When all vegetables are soft, about 45 minutes later, you can mix the soup with the blender. If the soup is thick, add more water to your liking.
Finish the soup by adding 200 ml coconut milk, salt and pepper.

The tip:
Since I try to make my soup as low fat as possible, i don’t use fat at all (apart from the fat in the coconut milk). In case you aren’t trying to cut calories, then I would recommend to stew the onion, shallots, garlic and Thai curry a couple of minutes before adding the veggies, the stock and the water.
In case you don’t have any curry paste in the house, you can replace the punch with 0,5 tsp. cayenne pepper and you can add an Asian twist adding cumin. Enjoy.

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Pumpkin-Paprika Soup

P1010961

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

The ingredients: for 6 persons

  • 1 butternut pumpkin
  • 2 red paprika
  • 2 onions
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cubes low fat chicken bouillon
  • 1 bouquet garni (garnished bouquet)
  • 1 tbsp. paprika powder (soft taste)
  • 1 tsp. sharp paprika (spicy)
  • olive oil or other light fat
  • salt & pepper

The work:

Peal the butternut, take out the seeds, and cut the meat in pieces. Clean the 2 paprika’s, take out the seeds and cut them into pieces. Peal the onions and cut them in cubes. Peal the garlic and cut into small pieces.

Put some olive oil or other low fat oil into a cooking pot and simmer the onions, the paprika and the  garlic for a couple of minutes until the onions start to turn glazy. Add the butternut pieces and immediately cover all vegetables with water. You’ll need 1 to 1,5 liter. Add two cubes of chicken stock and the bouquet garni. To strengthen the taste of the soup, add a table spoon of soft paprika and a pinch of sharp paprika (spicy paprika).

Once the soup boils, lower the heat so that the soup boils softly for the rest of the cooking time. The paprika’s will need about 45 minutes until they are tender.

At the end of the cooking time, take out the bouquet garni and mix the soup using a mixer or blender. Add some extra water if necessary, to give the soup the right consistency. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

The Tip:
My neighbour brought me some smoked garlic the other day. I used this instead of normal garlic, and although i can’t prove nor measure it, but I believe the smoked garlic lifted the paprika taste much more than normal garlic. I’m sure if I would roast the paprika’s and peal them before using them, this would also be very beneficial for the taste of this soup. I really need to try that sometime.

I hate battling against pumpkins, so I in the beginning of winter I buy a bag of frozen butternut cubes. No work, as good!

The Secret:

Yet again the herbs are the secret to this taste. With the bouquet garni and the soft and spicy paprika herbs to the soup it gets a herby flavour and a great paprika ‘bite’.

If you don’t have sharp paprika, you can replace it by chilli. For the bouquet garni I used a dry bouquet which I bought in the shop. It contained: thyme, laurel and rosemary.

Tomato-Paprika Soup

DSC00471Preparation time: 45-60 minutes

The ingredients: for 6 persons

  • 4 big red tomatoes
  • 1 green paprika
  • 1 red paprika
  • 1 white part of leek
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 small can tomato paste (70 g)
  • 2 cubes low fat meat bouillon
  • salt & pepper

The Work:

Peal the tomatoes, take out the seeds and cut them in pieces. Take out the seeds of the paprikas and cut them up as well. Cut the white of leak, the carrots and the shallots in small cubes. Put all these vegetables in a cooking pot. Add 1 L of water, the 2 cubes of bouillon and let boil.

Once the soup boils, turn lower the heat so that the soup boils softly for the rest of the cooking time. The paprikas will need about 45 minutes until they are tender. To strengthen the taste of the soup, add some spoons of tomato paste at the end of the cooking time and stir until the paste is melted in the soup.

Mix the soup using a mixer or blender and add some extra water if necessary, to give the soup the right consistency. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

The Tip:
To get velvety soup it is advised to peel the tomatoes. If you are pressed for time, you can skip this.

The combination of a green en red paprika gives the soup a bitter touch. If you rather have a softer taste, use 2 red paprikas instead of 1 green and 1 red.

The Secret:

This soup is really a diet recipe I got from my sister in law, but the flavours and the consistency are so rich that I’ve served it on family diners as well. Nobody every dared to assume this was zero calorie.

If your kids don’t like vegetables but they do like tomato soup with meat balls, then this is a perfect veggie boost in disguise… just make sure they never see you add all these ‘bad’ ingredients.

Zucchini Soup

DSC00459

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

The ingredients for 6 portions:

  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cubes of low fat chicken bouillon
  • salt & pepper
  • water

The work:

Wash the zucchinis, remove both ends. Cut the zucchinis in blocks.
Peel the onions and cut those in blocks too.
Put this all together in a cooking pot. Add the 2 cubes and a liter of water.
Cook for 20 to 40 minutes, depends on how long the zucchini needs.
Mix the soup and season with salt and pepper.

The tips:

I you like a lot of pepper in your soup and you like to put some portions in the freezer, remember the pepper will enforce. So it will come out of the freezer much spicier than you’ve put it in.

The story:

This recipe was handed over during a lunch conversation from woman to woman. Thank you Hildegard, you may not remember this conversation, but I’m still cooking and enjoying this regularly.