Savouring a bowl of hot soup in a cosy corner at home amidst the backdrop of a deluge of rains and a pleasant cool breeze outdoors sounds perfect, doesn’t it? In addition, soup is much more than comfort food during wet spells, for it serves as a wonderful natural tonic to remedy a host of seasonal illnesses. These include incessant coughs, nagging colds, sinus headaches, a runny nose and bouts of fever that invariably bother scores of people across all age groups in the monsoon.
Astounding Wellness Merits Of Soups:
A classic dish passed down by our ancestors through the ages, warm soups are enjoyed by many even today for their great taste and superb therapeutic benefits. Encompassing vegetables, herbs, spices, apart from lentils, pulses, legumes/beans, a cup of soup supplies myriad essential nutrients, namely vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, proteins and dietary fibres. These components promote digestion, enhance immunity, elevate metabolism, aid in weight loss, preserve cardiac wellness, besides tackling seasonal infections of cough, flu, sore throat and managing chronic ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity.
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Enticing Asian Soup Recipes Packed With Good Health And Nutrition:
Of course, Indian cuisine has no dearth of customary stew recipes – be it tomato shorba or pepper rasam, mulligatawny/lentil broth or vegetable clear soup. But if you feel the urge to rustle up some novel soups instead of these staple desi dishes this time around, then look no further. From the vast and diverse expanse of Asia, we bring you two unique soup recipes. Those of Manchow Soup – an Indo-Chinese delicacy made with spring onions, corn flour, soy sauce infused with spices and Miso Soup – a traditional Japanese stew prepared with miso paste i.e. fermented soybeans, mushroom broth, vegetables and tofu. Granted, these nutritious zesty soups will treat monsoon maladies of cough, cold, fever, heal the body and soothe the soul.
7 - 8 cups water
3 tsp salt
5 tbsp groundnut oil
1 pack hakka noodles (made from wheat flour)
2 tsp corn flour
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp pepper powder
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 medium onion, cut into pieces
1 carrot, chopped
5 – 7 french beans, finely cut
2 stems of spring onion greens, sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vinegar
A sprig of coriander leaves
Boil 4 cups of water, add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp groundnut oil and cook hakka noodles for about 4 – 5 minutes until they become al dente i.e. a bit soft but still retaining some of the firm texture.
Filter out the excess water, soak noodles in cold water for 1 minute, then add 1 tsp corn flour and deep fry in groundnut oil to make them crispy.
Soak the surplus oil using tissue and set the cooked crispy hakka noodles aside.
In a big kadai, heat 1 – 2 tbsp oil, sauté onions, ginger garlic paste and green chilli, till the onion loses its raw smell and turns translucent.
Transfer the carrots, spring onion greens, french beans and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
Add 3 – 4 cups water, 1 tsp salt, stir well and cook until all flavours are absorbed.
To this vegetable mix, add 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp pepper powder and stir thoroughly.
Mix 1 tsp corn flour with a bit of water, pour it into the vegetables and cook until a thick, glossy blend forms.
Turn off the stovetop, top it off with spring onion greens, coriander leaves, fried hakka noodles and relish the Manchow soup as an appetizer for dinner.
Spring onions are rich in vitamin C for immunity, carrots abound in vitamin A for healthy vision and french beans possess ample amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 for optimal metabolism, digestion and nervous system activity. Whole wheat hakka noodles and corn flour provide calories, carbohydrates for the body’s energy needs and biochemical reactions, while groundnut oil has plenty of healthy unsaturated fats, vitamin e which bolster heart health and regulate blood cholesterol levels.
6 cups water
1 cup mushroom broth (prepared with dried edible mushrooms, salt, garlic)
1 tbsp soy sauce
250 – 300 g soft/silken tofu, sliced into cubes
4 tbsp miso i.e. fermented soybean paste (either store-bought or homemade)
1 tbsp dry wakame (plant-based edible seaweed for umami flavour – a pleasant savoury taste)
3 tbsp cabbage, chopped
2 tbsp spring onion greens, finely cut
Soak the dry wakame in warm water for 5 minutes.
Boil water in a vessel and add mushroom broth, soy sauce, tofu.
Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, then press the soaked wakame and add its extracts to the vessel.
Stir well and cook for 5 minutes, then lower the flame and add the miso paste, cabbage, spring onions.
Simmer the broth for 5 minutes, then switch off the flame and enjoy the warm miso soup with rice for lunch or as a mid-day meal.
Mushrooms comprise profuse quantities of iron, a vital mineral for optimal red blood cell synthesis, circulation of oxygenated blood to cells, tissues and resolving the deficiency disorder of anaemia, besides fatigue, body weakness. A storehouse of essential amino acids, tofu is an excellent source of plant-based proteins for strong muscles and healthy growth, development of all organs in the body. Soybean supplies vitamin K for normal blood clotting processes, dietary fibres for better digestive operations and gut health. Imbued with calcium, magnesium, as well as anthocyanin and indole antioxidants, cabbage fortifies bones, joints and prevents cancer.