5 healthy Indian soups for winter

A soup can do what a medicine never can – soothe and relax you in an inexplicable way when you’re down with cold, cough and fever. It’s by far the most comforting food, not to mention, healthy and delicious too.

This winter, we bring you five different kinds of Indian soups that will keep you warm in the cold weather. Each soup benefits you differently and each one is unique in flavour. Executive Chef Aditya Jamini of New Delhi’s Crowne Plaza, Rohini, lists five best Indian soups for you to try out this season.

1. Pepper Rasam

Winters are synonymous with common cold and cough. Besides right medication, it is imperative to consume comforting and effective foods. The spices in Pepper Rasam help in digestion and soothe your senses, and therefore is a perfect recipe for incessant sneezes and running nose.

100 gm Tomato
50 gm Tamarind
1 tsp Whole black pepper
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 Cloves of garlic
2 gm Turmeric powder
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste
1 gm Coriander leaves
750 ml Water
10 gm Ghee
2 gm Mustard seeds
1 gm Curry leaves
2 gm Red chilli whole

1. Soak the tamarind in a cup of warm water, extract its juice and throw away the pulp. Grind cumin seeds, pepper and garlic for a few seconds in a mixer.
2. Take a cup of tamarind extract, add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, crushed pepper, cumin, garlic, salt and curry leaves. Boil them together.
3. Once it starts boiling, keep the flame low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the raw smell of the tamarind goes off.
4. Heat a tsp of ghee and add mustard seeds to it. When it begins to splutter, add the red chilli, curry leaves and pour it over the Rasam.

2. Lemon Coriander Soup

Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C, which in turn helps build immunity from cold and cough during winters. Relax with a bowl of hot Lemon Coriander Soup in the evening for a comforting experience.

50 gm Chinese cabbage
25 gm Carrots
20 gm Spinach
25 gm Mushroom
15 gm Fresh coriander
Salt to taste
5 gm White pepper
40 gm Lemon
800 ml Water
A coriander sprig to garnish

1. Cut all the vegetables into triangles, blanch and refresh.
2. Prepare coriander stock with fresh coriander and water.
3. Remove coriander from it and add blanched vegetables to it.
4. Add cleaned de-veined prawns cut in to dices.
5. Add salt, lemon juice and white pepper. Serve hot!

3. Khumb Nimbu Ka Ras
The nutrients in mushrooms are different from those of other vegetables and provide the B group vitamins, especially riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), folate, pantothenic acid and biotin. Mushrooms also contain Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin that helps keep bones strong and fights disease. Khumb Nimbu Ka Ras is a brilliant concoction of health and flavour!

250 gm Mushroom
25 gm Desi ghee
30 gm Garlic
20 gm Fresh cream
50 gm Onion
30 gm Spring onion
Salt to taste
30 gm Lemon
5 gm Fresh coriander
750 ml Water

For garnish
2 gm sauteed and dried mushrooms
1 gm coriander

1. Heat desi ghee in a pan, add mushroom and cook till it gets dry.
2. Remove mushroom from pan, and add garlic, onion in the same oil, and saute.
3. Add mushrooms, water and bring it to a boil.
4. Set seasoning, add spring onion, cream and serve hot!

4. Murgh Makkai Shorba
Corn is an excellent source of dietary fibre and potassium and baby corn kernels are an excellent source of folate. When teamed with chicken, Murgh Makkai Shorba makes for a soup rich in health as well as taste.

1 litre Chicken stock
150 gm Corn
25 gm Garlic
25 gm Fresh coriander
15 gm Cumin seeds
Salt to taste
5 gm Turmeric
30 gm Oil
30 gm Chicken breast

For garnish
5 gm Diced chicken
Coriander sprigs

1. Heat oil in a pan, add garlic and cumin seeds. Wait till they crackle.
2. Add chopped garlic and saute. Add corn paste and cook.
3. Add chicken stock and cook, adjust seasoning.
4. Serve hot and garnish with chopped coriander, and chicken dices.

5. Carrot and Beetroot Shorba

While Beetroot is rich in nutrients like calcium, potassium, iron, folic acid, fiber and anti-oxidants, carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A. Beetroot also has natural properties of cleaning the kidneys and gall bladder. The deeper the orange colour of a carrot, the higher is the beta carotene content. Carrot and Beetroot Shorba is excellent for children as it benefits their vision, skin and immune system.

300 gm Carrot
300 gm Beet root
20 gm Ginger
5 gm Bay leaf
5 gm Green chilly
20 gm Fresh coriander
20 ml Oil
8 Cumin (whole)
750 ml Water
Salt to taste

For garnish
2 gm Beetroot
2 gm Carrot

1. Heat oil. Add bay leaf, cumin and ginger to it. Saute for 1 minute.
2. Add carrot, beetroot and green chillies. Cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add water. Once it starts to boil, strain and make a puree of it. Adjust the seasoning.
4. Strain the puree and adjust seasoning again. Garnish it with diced beetroot and carrots. Serve hot!