After a couple of weeks of baking spree I am glad I am finally back to being myself. I am now craving what I really should be craving in December, Spicy Soups and Curries.
Bangalore winter is magical. Weather is just perfect. Just cold enough to want to wake up late in the morning and feel lazy. Afternoons are bright and sunny to bask outside in the sun, sit and read a book on terrace. Evenings are great for long walks and hot coffee with friends. It’s also the right weather for lots of cooking and eating, which is exactly what I am doing right now!
I am glad I am back to enjoying comforting pots of curries, one pot meals, pasta in hearty sauces, soups with lots of veggies, spicy noodles and hot stir-fried vegetables. My body is getting the much needed break from sugar.
Last night I made a simple soup with fresh green peas, baby corn, and tofu with oriental flavours. I used fresh galangal, lemongrass, basil and garlic for bursting flavours. Instead of adding Thai red chilies to the soup, I soaked it in rice vinegar in a separate bowl so that we could add however much one needed to their soup bowls. My daughter enjoyed the soup with no chilies in it while I had a few spoons of chili vinegar in my soup.
I served this soup over some soba noodles to make a meal out of it. Soba is Japanese noodles made out of Buckwheat. This is the first time I am trying Soba and I am very happy with the taste! You can use any noodles/pasta of your choice here. It is also delicious by itself. It’s slightly sweet from the peas, tangy from the rice vinegar, salty from soy sauce and spicy from chilies. I make vegetable soups all the time but this one was really special. I think it’s because of the perfect blend of flavours and vegetables. These are the days when I am happy I blog! Because if not for this blog I can NEVER repeat a recipe! Most of the time I never remember my own recipes…
I am sure this will be delicious with some mushrooms and bok choy in it too. Go ahead and try different vegetable combinations, you never know when you will find your perfect blend.
A soup for your body and soul… perfect to warm you up this winter!
[typography font="Cantarell" size="24" size_format="px" color="#b36f98"]Ingredients:[/typography]
- 4 tbsp rice vinegar
- 4-5 Thai red chilies
- 2 tbsp sesame/peanut oil
- 1 lemongrass stalk
- 1 inch galangal
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup cubed tofu
- 1 cup diced baby corn
- 1 cup fresh/frozen peas
- 3-4 springs of basil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
- 1-2 tbsp of rice vinegar
- A pinch of salt (optional)
Chop the Thai red chilies into thin long pieces and place them in a bowl. Pour the rice vinegar over it and keep it aside.
Clean and cut all your vegetables and keep them aside.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed pot. Add the cubed tofu. Try in medium flame for 3-4 minutes till it’s slightly golden brown all over. Scoop it out and keep it aside.
Now add the lemongrass, galangal and garlic to the same oil. Fry for a couple of minutes and add all the vegetables and tofu in it. Quickly fry for a couple of minutes. Add 4-5 cups of water. Now add the soy sauce, oyster sauce and rice vinegar and stir well. Bring everything to a boil and let it simmer till the peas are almost cooked. I like my baby corn and peas still a little crunchy. Taste and add adjust the seasoning. Add more salt if needed as soy sauce already has salt in it. Add the fresh springs of basil and turn off the flame.
To serve place any noodles of your choice in a bowl. Pour the soup over it. Add the spicy, chili vinegar according to your taste. Garnish with a spring of basil. Serve hot.