Sunday nights are usually soup and bread nights in our house and usually I will also make some fresh bread to go with the soup. Today I made a soup that is a slight variation of the Indian spicy vegetable dish – “Paav bhaji”. What that means is Bread(paav) and bhaji (spicy vegetable curry). My kids love paav bhaaji and hence its a good way to get them to eat their veggies. So today I decided to bake some fresh bread rolls and make a ‘paav bhaaji’ flavored vegetable soup to go with them. You can use any mix of the different vegetables I have used but the flavor of this soup is mainly due to the blended combination of these different vegetables. I have used ‘Paav bhaaji masala’ which you will find in Indian grocery stores. This masala is a blend of many different spices and lends a spicy and tangy taste to the soup. But even without it , the soup will still taste good if you add enough lime juice to make it tangy.
This recipe will make about 4 servings of soup. Ingredients: 2 cup chopped cauliflower 1/2 cup chopped carrots 1/4 cup chopped green beans 1/4 cup chopped peas 1/2 cup chopped yellow squash or pumpkin 1/4 cup green pepper chopped 1 medium size potato, peeled and chopped 1 medium size tomato chopped(about 1/2 cup) 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (or cayenne pepper powder) (Use 1/4 tsp if you want it mild and not too hot) 1/4 tsp turmeric powder 1/2 tsp coriander powder 3 cups water 1/2 of a medium size onion chopped finely 1 tbsp fresh ginger finely chopped (or grated) or ginger paste 1 tbsp fresh garlic finely chopped or garlic paste 1 tsp salt (or per taste) 1 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp tomato paste (or tomato puree) 1 tsp Paav bhaaji masala (optional) 1 tsp fresh lime juice For garnish lime pieces fresh cilantro chopped
Take all the vegetables, tomatoes, the red chilli powder, the turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and add the water and cook either in a pressure cooker (3 whistles) or on medium heat covered till the vegetables are all soft and well-cooked.
Next take a medium size cooking pot and add the olive oil. Then add the onions and saute on medium heat for about 2 minutes till translucent. Then add the ginger and the garlic and again saute for about 1 minute. Then add the paav bhaji masala (if using) and roast for about 30 seconds and then add the tomato paste and saute for about 1 minute. Now add the cooked vegetables to this and mix well. Cook for about another 2-3 minutes adding more water to get the soup to your desired consistency. If you want a smooth pureed soup, you can blend this in a blender. I just used a potato masher to mash all the vegetables and get a chunky soup.
Garnish with cilantro leaves and a lime wedges and serve hot with fresh bread rolls.