Although the recipe of a soup seem very easy but it has a very interesting background. We really should not take this hot nourishing liquid for granted. It all began with the procedure called ‘boiling’ about 5000 years ago! Boiling foods created great new tastes, permitted the fuller use of animal and plant products and expanded the range of foods that our ancestors consumed. Many animal parts, such as bones, could not be eaten even if roasted. Thus, boiling extracted whatever nutritional value these unused parts possessed. Likewise, some plant parts were inedible in their natural state, but became consumable after boiling.
Here are a few pointers that one can keep in mind to get a good soup onto the table:
A proper roux made with plain helps to thicken soup in a tasty way. One can also use tomato paste, or plenty of grated or finely chopped vegetables for thickening the soup.
•Stirring smoothly - mashed potato till it is well combined also acts as a wonderful thickening agent.
• If the soup becomes over salted, one can use a raw potato. Peel a large potato and cut it into quarters. Put it in the soup and cook it for about fifteen to twenty minutes. Take out the potato and the salt level will be reduced. The now-cooked potato is often delicious too!
• One can also experiment with the creative streak by using appropriate garnishes and accompaniments to make an unassuming soup look attractive. We have often seen croutons and dollops of cream adorn the surface of many a soup. How about a sprinkling of red chilli powder on a creamy white vegetable soup? Or a few carrot curls adding texture to spicy curry based soups? Shreds of lime on a red pepper soup? Fresh coriander leaves make a sweet corn soup shine.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of soup is that it can be made from almost anything and that too in minutes. Toss any kind of meat or vegetable into a pot of boiling water with some onions, sliced potatoes, add some salt and pepper. In 30 minutes or less you will have a lovely pot of soup. With soups one can get the time, money and health and value advantage in no time at all. So serve it up a notch with soup!
Soup is traditionally served in a soup cup or a soup plate (a soup plate is a wide, shallow bowl) that has an under-plate. Soup cup is accompanied by a dessert spoon and soup plate by a soup spoon. Generally, thick soup is served in a soup plate and clear soup is served in a cup. A tureen is normally used to serve thick soups. It is often shaped as a broad, oval vessel with fixed handles and a low domed cover with a handle. Traditionally for serving the thick soup garnish is first placed in the soup plate and then the soup is poured directly from the tureen into the soup plate. This is the classical traditional way in which soup used to be served but not anymore. To cut to the chase serve is as you like it may be a glass bowl or a katori or in a coffee mug as long as you enjoy it.
Serving Indian Soups - Most Indian soups are served hot with an accompaniment such as steamed rice or toasted bread. Condiments like lemon juice, sliced pickled onions, salt and pepper may be served alongside to each diner according to his/her personal taste. The ethnic and cultural diversity of India translates to awide variety of yummy soups.
Few of the more popular ones are as follows:
Popular shorbas that are still prepared in North India are zirabaj (cumin) soup. Chicken & lentil shorba, yakhni which is a kashmiri mutton soup. The dal palak shorba made from lentils & spinach. Last but not the least the paya shorba or goat/sheep trotter soup.
Mulligatawny is one of the most well-known soups in South India. It is prepared by simmering meat or chicken, with vegetables and a minimum amount of spices. Till date, every Indian restaurant will have some form of the soup on their menu.
Turn the ordinary soup into something extraordinary…go the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” way!!