Hope you all had a fabulous weekend filled with lots of fun, laughter and FOOD, just like mine!
Life has been busy from past few days. Not busy with work, just busy meeting people, spending time with family and friends, cooking a lot, eating and drinking every evening… Life is good!! But just no time to blog! You might have noticed that my blog post frequency has come down. I felt like I was getting too obsessed with blogging. I had started to feel like blogging was my full time job! I realized that I can’t let it take over my life. So I have decided to slow down a little. I will still post often but only when I feel like it and have the time to. I am not going to stress myself.
Now to my today’s post! Noodle soup with Winter melon and fresh green peas.
Winter melon or ash gourd as we call in India is a very popular vegetable in my region. It grows very easily and is available throughout the year. It can be stored for months which is a great advantage for rural families.
Various studies have revealed that ash gourd or white gourd has a good amount of moisture along with a moderate composition of proteins, fibre, and carbohydrates, while the seeds contain pale yellow oil in them. Winter melon’s mineral contents are calcium, phosphorus, thiamine, iron, riboflavin and niacin. Wax gourd especially contains a fairly decent level of vitamin C.
Ash gourd is a very good diet food for reducing weight and excessive unnecessary fat. Since it is low in calories, it is useful for overweight people and diabetics. It increases libido and helps in treating hysteria and paroxysms (source)
It was a staple in our family kitchen as we grow it in our farm thus a frequent vegetable in curries and stir fries. I remember eating bowls full of plain winter melon simply boiled with a pinch of salt. It’s soft and juicy, as you bite it there is a gush of water coming out and it then just melts in your mouth!
I wanted to try something other than the usual Indian curry with it and when I searched online I saw that it’s commonly used in soups in Asian countries. Obviously none of them were vegetarian and even the spice mix didn’t sound very appealing to me. I decided to make my own version with the spices and flavors I love and I would say I succeeded in it J
Now I have another hearty yet lite soup recipe… here’s a noodle soup with juicy, succulent winter melon and sweet fresh peas spiced with some onion, fresh green chilies, lots of garlic and garnished with some cilantro and a fresh squeeze of lemon! There are a variety of flavors in it but it is still very mild and delicate.
This is believe is a great meal for all seasons. Served piping hot with some sriracha for extra heat this soup will warm your soul in winter and chilled well with a generous squeeze of lime, the same clear soup can be a lite comforting meal.
I know winter melon can be used in more than curries now, try the soup and you too will!
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- One small winter melon
- 1 cup of freshly shelled green peas
- 2-3 shallots
- 5-6 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 fresh green chilies
- Fresh cilantro
- 3 tbsp of oil of your choice
- A pack of noodles of your choice
Boil the noodles according to the instructions of the package. I used spaghetti as that’s what I had on hand but you can use egg noodles, rice noodles or any other noodles of your choice. Reserved the water in which the noodles was cooked for the soup as it adds a good body and flavor to the soup.
Blend onion, garlic and green chili into a smooth paste. You can also just chop it and use it but I really wanted a smooth clear soup and didn’t really want to bite into a garlic or green chili.
Peel and cut your winter melon into thin long pieces and place it in cold water. You will see a thin frothy layer on top. Rinse it a few times in clean water till the water runs clear.
Heat oil in a big pot. When hot add the spicy onion paste. Fry in low flame till it loses the pungent smell. Now add the winter melon, fresh peas and the water reserved after boiling the noodles. Sprinkle with enough salt and top it up with extra water of vegetable broth if you want more liquid in it. bring it to a boil and cover and cook for 5 minutues. The soup is ready when the winter melon changes it’s colour and becomes transparent.
To serve place your noodles in a bowl. Add hot soup with veggies to it. Sprinkle some freshly chopped cilantro and squeeze a generous amount of lemon. You can definetly try different sauces to add more flavor if needed but we liked just as it is.