Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Thick Mushroom Soup (without cream and refined flour)

Thick Mushroom Soup (without cream and flour)
Mushrooms, What is the first thought that pops in your head when you think of them? yummy?, yucky?, wanna be meat for vegetarians? For me mushrooms in the supermarket aisle are like flashing headlights of a car on a heavy rain locked highway. They call out to me with that very primal need. Saying "Buy us please, we are only 22 calories per 100 gms and fill you up real fast thanks to all that fiber we carry." 

Its been a fantastic fortnight here in Pune with copious amounts of blessings from the Rain Gods and very little sightings of the center of our universe, The Sun (no pun intended).

Rains also bring with them cool winds and chilly climes, which means its time for something nice, hot and yummy and not to forget comforting, like an old overused blanket.

What better then a bowl of piping hot soup then?, but clear soups don't satisfy us much like their creamy cousins and creamy soups are well... not really up my alley coz I donna wanna all those calories mate!

So I put on my thinking cap and mentally dissected the makings of a creamy soup, all other things remaining equal two major naughties in a creamy soup are (a) cream (duh!) and (b) refined flour (maida) and/ or cornstarch and this was the exact moment when that imaginary light bulb went off!

Eureka! what if I substituted plain flour for a nutrient loaded, power packed millet flour? and that is exactly how this delicious, thick, creamy son of a gun mushroom soup came to be. All I added was Ragi/ Nachni/ Finger Millet flour.

The flour while lending a good measure of nutrients adds no distinct flavour to the soup, meaning the soup feels creamy on the pallet but you'd never know that no cream went into its making.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves: 2

You will need:

100 gms white button mushrooms
1 small onion
1/2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsps oil
1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs
1 tbsp ragi (finger millet) flour
1 cup vegetable stock (or just use water)
1 tsp grated cheese of choice to garnish (optional)
Toasted bread or soup sticks to serve (optional)
Salt to taste


Start by heating oil in a pan, once warm add in finely sliced onions, sliced mushrooms and garlic paste, saute on low heat for 5 - 7 mins till the mushrooms give out all their water and the onions become translucent.

Turn off the flame and allow the vegetables to get to room temperature.

Once at room temperature transfer into the grinder of your blender and keep aside.

Now in the same pan that you used for sauteing, add in the ragi flour and dry roast for 2 - 3 mins on medium till it slightly changes colour to a deeper brown.

Transfer the flour to the blender along with the vegetables and blend along with a little water till you achieve a thick paste.

Transfer this paste back into your pan and gradually pour in vegetable stock or water in a thin trickle as you simultaneously incorporate it into the paste, do this slowly and add in as much or as little liquid as you prefer.

Now the transfer the pan back onto low heat and cook for 2 mins until all the flavours get a chance to amalgamate well.

Add in mixed dried (or fresh if you prefer) herbs, taste for salt and add in (the salt) as required.

Turn off the heat and transfer your fresh, hot soup into serving bowls, garnish with grated cheese and a sprig of parsley.

Serve with soup sticks or toasted bread, pre-sliced into roundels or fingers.

Cosy up under your favourite blanket and slurp away!



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