Happy new year to all of you!! We all start the new year with new aspirations/resolutions/ habits and I’m no different. In search of some inspiration and new recipes I head out yesterday to my trusty book store, Landmark and ended up getting not one but four books ranging from travel to cooking.
Selecting a good cookbook is such a challenge since you never know how the book is gonna turn out. Yes, I’ve had my share of bad cookbooks which I never looked at again and felt so cheated! Being a vegetarian is another issue I face: its not easy to find a book covering just vegetarian dishes from all cuisines. Yes you’ll find a random vegetarian cookbook on low fat recipe etc but you won’t find a huge range.
So my resolution this year is triggered by this lack of availability of vegetarian cookbooks and my desperate need to get hands on them:
Adapt the non-veg recipes into vegetarian so that us vegetarians can relish all the amazing cuisines and recipes rooting from various parts of the world.
My first such challenge was to convert this crab meat and chilli soup recipe. I got this recipe from one of the books I bought yesterday: 500 Chinese recipes.
Any and every Indian vouches for their love for Chinese food and we all know that the Chinese we get in Indian in indeed an adapted version of their food to cater to our masala craving palate. Hence the recipe I was inspired to pick was a spicy chilli soup recipe. Here’s my version of the Chilli Soup with Mushrooms and Broccoli
- 2 red chillies
- 1 fat clove of garlic
- 1 Carrot, sliced into into 1/4 ” thick rectangles
- 3 spring onions
- 1 small Broccoli
- 1 cup Spinach, Julienne
- 5-6 baby corns, cut into quaters
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 1 pack button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
- 3 tsp Soy Sauce
- 2 tsp Vinegar
- 1 tsp green chilli sauce
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
For the stock
- 1 lt water
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 4-5 cloves of garlic (small)
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 radish
For the soup
- 100 g Spaghetti pasta, uncooked
- 4-5 stocks of dried lemon grass
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp green chilli sauce
Cook all the vegetables needed to make the vegetable stock with water. I prefer using a pressure cooker as it saves me a lot of time and energy. Cook the vegetables on a high flame till you get the first whistle. Simmer the flame and cook for 10 mins after that and let your cooker stay put for 5-7 mins order to cook down slightly.
Strain the water from the cooker to obtain the stock and keep aside. DO NOT throw away the cooked vegetables as they can be strained through a sieve and used as sauce in any curry.
Heat butter and oil in a pan and sauté garlic and chillies. Add the spring onions and sauté for 3-4 mins followed by carrots , baby corn and broccoli. Add the soy sauce, chilli sauce and vinegar. Cover and cook for 10 mins on low heat checking occasionally so that the vegetables do not get burnt.
Add the mushroom, spinach and cilantro and cook till the mushrooms let out water and are cooked. Keep aside till you work on the soup base.
In a heavy bottom pot, add the just now created vegetable stock, soy sauce, lemon grass, chilli paste and bring it to a boil. Cook on low flame for 5 mins and then remove the lemon grass stems. Add pasta to the boiling stock and cook till just done or as per the pack instructions.
Add the cooked vegetables and season as per your liking. Cook on high flame and give the soup one last boil.
Serve instantly in deep dish soup bowls and enjoy it hot!