SELF HELP RESOURCE - Wellness / Healthy Recipes

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Soups make great accompaniments to meals! They are healthy, wholesome and nourishing. Some soups are a meal in themselves! 

Before we get started, we would like to share with you the recipe for making stock. Stock comes in handy when you need to prepare soup for a quick meal. If you like to prepare soup on a regular basis, it would be a good idea to keep some handy!

Stock:

Ingredients:
•    ½ kg chicken bones/ neck/ wings (avoid if you want only vegetable stock)
•    1 large onion- peeled and chopped
•    5 pods of garlic- halved
•    2 carrots
•    1 cup roughly chopped spring onions
•    ½ cup roughly chopped celery
•    1 tbsp. olive oil
•    1 bay leaf
•    5 whole peppercorns
•    7 cups water
•    Salt- To taste

Method:
1.    In a deep bottomed vessel, add the olive oil over medium flame. When hot, add the onions and garlic. Sauté until fragrant. Add the bay leaf along with peppercorns and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
2.    Lower flame. Add the chicken bones and pieces (if using) and sauté for 5-7 minutes until browned.
3.    Add the vegetables and stir for 5 minutes. Add salt and water. Partially cover vessel with lid and increase the flame to medium. Allow the water to boil so that the stock becomes half and reaches a slightly thicker consistency. This should take about 30 to 45 minutes
4.    *You can also make stock in a pressure cooker. After adding salt and water at the last step. Cover the cooker with the lid and use the weight. Pressure cook over low-medium flame for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to come down before opening the cooker
5.    Strain the stock using a strainer with a muslin cloth to remove any impurities. This stock contains all the nutrients from the vegetables (and meat).

You can use the stock immediately. If you are planning to set some aside to use later, allow the stock to cool completely and pour them into glass jars leaving 1-inch space at the top. You can skim off the fat (meat-based stock). The jars can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and in the freezer for 1-2 months at a time.

The remaining vegetables and meat can be blended and used to thicken soups. They can also be made into cutlets or sandwich fillings. 

1. Sweet Corn Chicken Soup

Ingredients
•    ½ cup boiled and shredded chicken (only meat)
•    ½ cup boiled sweet corn kernels
•    2 cups chicken stock
•    ½ tsp. soy sauce
•    1 tsp. sesame oil
•    3 tbsp. spring onion greens- finely chopped and another 2 tbsp. for garnish
•    1 egg (beaten)
•    1 tbsp. olive oil
•    White pepper- a pinch
•    Salt- to taste

Method
1.    Heat olive oil over medium flame in a deep bottomed vessel, add spring onions and sauté for a minute. 
2.    Add the shredded chicken along with salt and sauté until light brown for 3 to 5 minutes.
3.    Add the sweet corn kernels and chicken stock and increase flame to bring to a boil.
4.    Once boiled, lower flame and simmer.
5.    Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir to mix well.
6.    Gradually add in the beaten egg and stir continuously in one direction. The egg will form thin white strands as it mixes with the soup. Keep soup over low flame for another 2 minutes.
7.    Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with spring onions and a dash of white pepper.

2. Hearty Tomato Soup

Ingredients
•    3 large ripe tomatoes- blanch and remove skin (it is important to use ripe tomatoes for the taste and texture of the soup). Tomatoes are rich in lycopene.
•    ½ a large beetroot- chopped (adding beetroot gives the soup a rich, dark colour)
•    1 tbsp. olive oil
•    3 pods of garlic- minced
•    3 tbsp. fresh basil (or ½ tsp. dried basil)
•    1 small bay leaf
•    4 black peppercorns
•    1 cup vegetable stock
•    Salt- to taste

Method
1.    Add tomatoes, beetroot, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf in a pressure cooker with 1 ½ cups of water and pressure cook on medium flame for 10 minutes. Allow pressure to come down, open lid and allow ingredients to cool.
2.    Transfer tomato mixture to a mixie or use a hand blender to make into a smooth puree. Add salt to taste and blend well. Strain the puree through a sieve to remove the residue.
3.    In a separate non-stick vessel, heat olive oil over low flame, add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the tomato puree and stir for 10 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil over high flame. Lower the flame and add basil (either fresh or dry). Stir and switch off flame.
4.    Ladle soup into bowls and serve hot with a slice of garlic bread.
*If the soup is sour add a tsp. of sugar to balance out the taste

3. Cream of Mushroom Soup

Ingredients
•    200 g washed and cleaned fresh white button mushrooms
•    1 small white onion- peeled and chopped fine
•    1 stick of celery
•    3 cloves of minced garlic
•    4 sprigs of fresh parsley (set aside 2 sprigs for garnish)
•    2 sprigs of fresh thyme
•    1 tbsp. vegetable oil (divided)
•    1 cup water
•    1 tbsp. heavy cream- for garnish
•    Salt- to taste

Method
1.    In a non-stick pan heat oil over medium flame. When hot, add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add mushrooms and stir for 10 minutes until they become soft. Add salt, parsley and thyme, lower flame and cover with a lid for 5 minutes.
2.    Open lid and remove 2 tbsp. of the cooked mushrooms, keep aside to use later.
3.    Once mushrooms cool, transfer into a mixie and blend until smooth. You can add water to make blending easier.
4.    In a separate vessel, heat oil and add chopped onions. Sauté until light brown. Transfer blended mushroom to the vessel and stir until combined. Increase flame and add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
5.    Ladle soup into bowls. Before serving, swirl cream into the soup and garnish with mushroom chunks and fresh parsley.
6.    Serve hot.

4. Mixed Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:
•    ¼ cup chopped carrots
•    ¼ cup shredded cabbage
•    ¼ cup green peas
•    ¼ cup sweet corn kernels
•    2 tbsp. spring onions- chopped finely
•    1 small onion- chopped finely
•    1 tbsp. olive oil
•    1 tsp. dark soy sauce
•    2 cups vegetable stock
•    ½ tsp. black pepper powder
•    Salt- to taste

Method
1.    In a deep non-stick pan, heat oil over medium flame. When hot, add vegetables along with salt and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes. 
2.    Pour in the vegetable stock and increase flame to bring to a boil.
3.    Let the stock boil for 5 more minutes afterwards
4.    Lower the flame and stir in the soy sauce, add pepper and salt to taste and mix. 
5.    Switch off flame and ladle soup into serving bowls.

5. Wholesome Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients
•    2 cups vegetable stock
•    ¼ kg cubed pumpkin
•    1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley 
•    1 cup chopped onion
•    4 pods of garlic- minced
•    1 tbsp. heavy cream
•    1 tbsp. roasted pumpkin seeds
•    A pinch of black cumin seeds
•    1 tbsp. vegetable oil (divided)
•    Salt- To Taste

Method:
1.    In a non-stick vessel, add 1 tbsp. vegetable oil over low flame. When hot, add garlic and onion and sauté until lightly browned. Add pumpkin cubes and stir until browned. Add ¼ cup water along with salt and cover with lid, lower flame and allow the pumpkin to cook for 10 minutes.
2.    Once cooked, cool and transfer into a blender to make a smooth puree.
3.    In a separate vessel, heat oil and add black cumin seeds. Transfer puree and stir well. Add stock and allow to boil for 5 minutes. 
4.    Ladle soup into bowls and swirl in some heavy cream. Garnish soup with roasted pumpkin seeds and fresh parsley.
5.    Serve hot.

6. Seafood Bisque

Ingredients
•    4 cups chicken/ vegetable stock
•    ½ cup chopped roasted red capsicum
•    A palm sized piece of fish fillet (seer/salmon/tilapia or any other firm white fish)- cut into ½ inch pieces
•    12 deveined prawns
•    1 medium sized onion- finely chopped
•    ¼ cup cooked white rice- used to thicken the bisque
•    Salt- to taste
•    1 level tsp. black pepper
•    2 tbsp. olive oil- divided

Method
1.    In a deep bottomed vessel add oil, when hot, add chopped onion and stir over low flame. When onions get browned, add the stock and simmer over low flame.
2.    In a separate non-stick pan, add olive oil and sear the fish fillet until lightly browned and tender. Remove from flame and add to the broth. In the same pan, add the prawns and cook until raw smell disappears and they become tender.
3.    Add the red capsicum (bell peppers) and heat the stock to boiling, stirring occasionally.
4.    Add in the prawns along with cooked rice and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes until prawns are soft and well cooked.
5.    Add black pepper and salt and bring to a boil.
6.    Ladle bisque into soup bowls and serve hot.

7. Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients
•    3-4 medium sized sweet potatoes (lightly peel skin and wash well to remove any grits/ sand)
•    1 small onion- sliced
•    3 cups stock
•    4 cloves of chopped garlic
•    A pinch of cinnamon powder
•    2 tbsp. vegetable oil- divided
•    Salt- to taste

Method
1.    Chop sweet potatoes into rounds. Place a non-stick pan over medium flame and add oil. Once hot, lightly roast the sweet potato until lightly browned. Set aside
2.    In a separate deep bottomed vessel, add oil, when hot, add the onions and garlic. Sauté with salt until lightly browned and fragrant.
3.    Add the sweet potato, cinnamon powder and 3 cups of stock. Boil the stock, once boiled, reduce the flame and simmer for 30 minutes until the sweet potato is well cooked.
4.    When cooled blend in a mixie or using a hand blender, to make a smooth puree.
5.    Reheat soup and serve hot


8. Pasta and Vegetable Soup

Ingredients
•    1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta
•    2 cups vegetable stock or water
•    ¼ cup broccoli florets
•    ¼ cup green peas
•    ¼ cup cubed potato
•    1 small onion- chopped
•    5 pods of garlic- minced
•    1 tsp. Lime juice
•    1 tbsp. olive oil
•    A pinch of pepper
•    A pinch of mixed herbs
•    Salt- to taste

Method
1.    In a deep bottomed vessel, add olive oil and sauté onions and garlic over medium flame until lightly browned and fragrant.
2.    Add vegetables along with salt and stir for 5 minutes until slightly tender
3.    Add the vegetable stock and simmer over low flame for 10 to 15 minutes.
4.    Check to see if vegetables are cooked. They need to be firm. (Do not overcook, or they will get mashed)
5.    Add lime juice, pepper and mixed herbs and gently stir to combine.
6.    Ladle into soup bowls and serve hot.


9. Anytime Chicken Soup

Ingredients:
•    ½ cup boiled chicken pieces (only meat)
•    ¼ cup chopped carrot
•    ½ cup coloured capsicum- red, yellow and green
•    2 stalks of celery
•    4 pods of garlic- chopped
•    ½ inch piece of ginger- grated
•    2 cups chicken stock
•    2 tbsp. vegetable oil- divided
•    A pinch of pepper
•    Salt- to taste

Method
1.    In a non-stick pan heat oil, add ginger and garlic, sauté until fragrant.
2.    Add the vegetables along with salt and stir fry over high flame for 3 -5 minutes.
3.    Meanwhile in a deep bottomed vessel, add the stock and heat over medium flame. Transfer the vegetables to the stock.
4.    In the same non-stick pan, add oil and lightly brown the chicken pieces. Transfer chicken to the stock.
5.    Bring stock to a boil for 5 minutes. Add pepper and stir.
6.    Transfer into soup bowls and serve hot.


10. Tom Yum Soup

Ingredients
•    3 cups vegetable/ chicken stock
•    1 cup sliced white button mushrooms
•    1 medium tomato, sliced
•    1 onion, sliced
•    ½ inch piece of fresh ginger- grated
•    3-4 fresh lime leaves
•    1 leaf of lemon grass (cut into 2-inch strips)
•    1 tbsp. soy sauce
•    4 slit Thai red chillies or regular red chillies (you can also add 1 tbsp. of red chilli sauce if you don’t have access to fresh chillies)
•    1 tbsp. lime juice
•    1 tbsp. sesame oil
•    For garnish:
•    2 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
•    2 tbsp. chopped spring onions

Method
1.    In a non-stick pan, heat oil over medium flame. Add sliced onion and sauté until lightly browned. Add mushrooms and sauté until water evaporates and they become soft.   
2.    Take a separate vessel and add the vegetable/ chicken stock. Bring to a boil over a high flame. Once the stock boils, add lime leaves, grated ginger and lemongrass. Cover and boil for 5 minutes.
3.    Once boiled, open the lid and add the cooked mushrooms and onions, soy sauce, Thai chilies, lime juice and chopped tomatoes,
4.    Cover with a lid and boil for another 5 minutes. 
5.    Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and spring onions.

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