Last week , my driving adventure on the sleety roads of Austin , called for some chilly and shivering moments, more from the sight of the ice shield formed by the frozen rain on my windshield and the number of cops’ cars that blinked at various accident spots.
Boy, wasn’t I happy to be home safe and sound, and all I wanted to do was celebrate the cold winter weather with some comfort food. The first thing that came to mind was our good old deep fried calorie laden munchies. Well, since I had been on a munching spree for most of the winter holidays, I decided to forgo that and settle for something light, yet filling . So, hot and spicy mixed vegetable soup it was!
Here is how I made it:
1. Chop 1 cup each of onion, celery, carrot, tomato, zucchini or bottle gourd .
2. In a thick bottom vessel, add 1 tsp olive oil and saute, 5 cloves, 1 inch long cinnamon, 2 tsps of crushed garlic for about a minute and add onion and saute for another minute . (Add 2 to 3 tbsp of tomato puree if you like it more sour).
3. Add about 6 cups water, salt to taste, a pinch of sugar and all the vegetables and let it cook on stove top on medium-low heat for about an hour. You may add more water as required.
4. Switch off and sprinkle 2 tbsp of chopped spring onion as garnish. Before serving, add ground black pepper. I add some hot sauce(like Sriracha) to make it more spicy.
If you want your soup as a balanced meal, add 1/2 cup of macaroni or shell pasta and a cup of boiled kidney beans , black beans or any other beans of your choice. That would be my version of minestrone soup! These additions supply the carbohydrates and proteins for the body, in addition to the micro nutrients in the vegetables. I also like it with some kind of bread on the side, like toasted garlic bread, or french bread. This whole ensemble is easy to make (except for the chopping) and so filling, just like any regular meal. Bon Appetit!