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Cooking up Smiles..Across the Miles


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The Red Soup..With the goodness of tomatoes, carrots and beetroot

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Hello everyone. The most beautiful season is officially here. With such lovely colors all around, I find it so hard to focus on the road. I stop by every now and then to capture this beautiful array of colors around me. Check out this beautiful red tree I clicked yesterday, I stood there admiring it for good 5 minutes. New England is probably one of the best place to enjoy this beautiful season. If you have never been here, I highly recommend it, especially during the fall season.

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And with all this beauty, comes the first chill of the year too. The nights have gotten cold now which means its time to take out that crockpot and make some soup. This red soup is what I made today. With such gorgeous colors all around me, I couldn’t think of a better one. This soup was made on the stovetop but can definitely be cooked in a slow cooker as well. The soup combines the goodness of tomatoes, carrots and beetroot (or beets) and is pretty healthy if you leave out the cream. Its one of the most loved soup in my family and I am so glad to share this with you today.

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Here is how I make it:

Ingredients:

Oil – 1 tbsp.

Garlic cloves – 2, chopped

Onion – 1 small, chopped

Tomatoes – 3 medium, chopped

Carrots – 4 medium, chopped

Beetroot – 1 small, chopped

Vegetable stock – 1 cup

Green Cardamom* – 3

Cloves* – 2

Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Honey – 1 tsp

Butter – 1 tbsp.

Cream – 2 tbsp.

Croutons & Basil Leaves – for garnish

Method:

  1. Take a heavy bottomed, deep saucepan and heat up the oil. Add the cardamom and cloves and Sautee them for a minute. * You can leave out the whole spices if your kids do not like the taste.
  2. Add in the chopped garlic and onion and cook it for 3 – 4 minutes till the onions get a little color.
  3. Now add in the chopped carrots and beetroot and cook for another 4 minutes till the veggies get caramelized.
  4. Finally, add in the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften up.
  5. Now add the vegetable stock, the salt and black pepper. Mix everything well and cover and cook till all the vegetable are soft and mushy. It will take about 20 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Finally, use a hand blender or let the contents cool down a bit and transfer the soup to a blender to make a smooth puree. You can strain this too if you prefer silky smooth soup.
  7. Bring the soup back to boil and add the butter and honey. The honey helps to cut down the sourness of tomatoes here.
  8. Let the soup boil for about 7 minutes on medium heat. Do a taste test here to ensure its per your preference.
  9. Finally, add in the cream, cook for a minute and turn off the flame.
  10. Serve hot with croutons and basil leaves. I have used mint leaves here for garnish. Use what you like. Enjoy this bowl of comfort and stay warm.

Instant Pot version :

  1. Turn on IP on sauté mode, add oil and whole spices if using, followed by onion and garlic. Sauté it for a few minutes. 
  2. Add in the chopped carrots and beets and let it caramelize for a minute. 
  3.  Add in the tomatoes, vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan to make sure nothing is stuck at the bottom of the pan to avoid the burn sign. 
  4. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Quick release pressure after 10 minutes. 
  5. Finally use a hand blender and make a smooth puree. You can also strain the soup if you prefer it silky smooth. 
  6. Turn the sauté mode and add in the honey and butter. Let it boil for a few minutes. 
  7. Finally add in the cream and top with basil leaves and enjoy. 
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So that is how I kick started my soup season. If you have a soup you really like, do let me know in the comments below and I would love to try it out. We have a really long winter ahead of us.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Love,
Ritu. 🙂


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Shrimp/Prawns Red Thai Curry..Can be made Vegetarian.

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Red curry is a popular Thai dish made with Thai paste and coconut milk. It can be made with your choice of meat or by adding veggies and tofu. Its like a soup, best had with jasmine rice. It comes together really quickly, especially if you use store bought red curry paste. However, sometimes the red curry paste also has shrimp or fish sauce, so just check the ingredients before buying, if you prefer a complete vegetarian curry. You can also make your own red curry paste. I have included the recipe below.

Here is how to make the red curry:

Ingredients:

Oil – 1 tbsp

Coconut Milk – 1 can 14 oz

Thai red curry paste – 2 tbsp. (Adjust based on spice preference)

Brown Sugar – 1 Tbsp

Large Shrimp – peeled and deveined – 1 Lb

Mixed vegetables of your choice – 1 cup, I have used onions, red & green pepper, carrots and baby corn. Feel free to use what you like here.

Fish Sauce or Soy Sauce – 1 tbsp

Fresh Thai basil – for garnish

Method:

  1. Heat oil in the big pan and add the red curry paste. Mix it well and make sure its heated through.
  2. Add in the can of coconut milk and let it come to a gentle simmer.
  3. Once the milk has come to a boil, add the sugar and soy sauce or fish sauce, if using. Mix well and let it cook for a minute.
  4. If you would like to make this with chicken, you can add bite sized chicken breasts here and let them cook before you add the veggies.
  5. Its time to add all the veggies. We need to make sure that the veggies are not over cooked. Mix everything well.
  6. Add the shrimp (or Tofu, if making the vegetarian version) now and allow it to cook. Be very gentle while mixing.
  7. Let the curry cook for about 3 – 4 minutes and make sure the shrimp is well cooked. (Or the Tofu is well heated)
  8. Check the seasoning to ensure it suits your taste buds.
  9. Finally garnish it with thai basil leaves and dig in. Its best enjoyed with some Jasmine Rice.

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