Friday, May 10, 2013

Curried Vegetable Soups

A steaming bowl of soup on a cold, stormy or snowy weather is the perfect antidote to all the gloom. It’s like a warm snuggle or a burst of sunshine with rays strong enough to melt the icicles gathering on the eaves of the house. Hot and savory soup beats the cold mist with steam, fogging up eyeglasses as one nurses spoonful after spoonful of the broth. Soups recipes bring about this comforting feeling, reflecting the care the cook nurtures a pot of broth or stock, with which most great soups begin.

Hot soups can be as nutritious as the ingredients you put on the pot. Meat, poultry and seafood provide the much-needed protein in both the broth and as main or supplementary ingredient. Vegetables, herbs and spices contribute vitamins and anti-oxidants that give soup its healing properties. In fact, in Chinese herbal medicine, soup with special herbs and ingredients are often prescribed to cure an ailment or malady. Perhaps that’s why chicken soup is often given to those with colds and flu.

Curried Vegetable Soups

Vegetables soups are especially good with curry flavors because they can be a bit bland. You can sweeten vegetable soups, adding sugar and cream. This would work well with a canned pumpkin soup recipe, for example, because pumpkin can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. You can also make sweet carrot or yam soup, adding orange juice, ginger and a little sugar. Curry powder adds flavor to any of these.

Other vegetables are better kept savory. A broccoli or turnip based soup would be good with savory curry flavors. Some vegetables have a strong flavor and others are very mellow, which is why there are different curry soup recipes for different vegetables.

This is a chicken stock based soup recipe and the combination of dill, curry powder, and cayenne pepper adds a flavorful spiciness without overpowering the other flavors. Halve the amount of cayenne pepper if you want a milder taste. Corn and tomatoes have a naturally sweet flavor and this is a wonderfully warming soup.
Leaving the soup to stand at room temperature for a couple of hours and then heating it through again is optional but it does improve and enhance the flavor. This soup recipe makes enough for four servings.

What you will need:

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
5 oz frozen corn kernels
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in juice
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dill weed

How to make it:

Melt the butter, then add the flour and whisk for a minute. Add the milk and keep whisking the mixture over a medium heat until it is thick. Add the cayenne pepper and curry powder and stir. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock, then the corn and dill.

Heat the soup to a simmer and cook it for ten minutes. Let the soup stand at room temperature for two hours, then gently warm it up and serve hot with some warm, crusty bread for dipping.

You can use curry powder and cayenne pepper to live up any vegetable soup recipe. Pumpkin soup is one of the most versatile kinds of soup because it can be sweet, tangy, spicy, smooth, chunky or a combination of these flavors and textures.

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