Seasonal Vegetable Soup

Well, although winter isn’t officially here in Kolkata, winter vegetables are, and I love making soup with them! In fact, this is why I love Kolkata winter markets – the colors that suddenly burst in the market are incredible. I picked up some of everything the other day, and I had to make soup! I ran back home, chopped everything up, and within half an hour, I had soup!

This post is part of my new series – Bowl of Happiness, where I will feature a few of my favorite soups, celebrating the upcoming winter season.

In a saucepan, add to a tablespoon of hot vegetable oil two large cloves of chopped garlic. When the garlic is fragrant, add 1 small chopped red onion. Fry for a couple of minutes or till the onion is translucent. Then add 1/2 cup each of finely chopped cauliflower florets, green cabbage, shelled peas, sliced button mushrooms and stir briskly over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add 1 chopped tomato if you like and fry for another minute (In my case, I add a chopped red chili too because I believe in heat). At this point, if you like, add a couple of sprigs of parsley to make the soup more flavorful. Then, pour in 3 cups of water and one medium potato, halved. Bring the vegetables to a boil, and then simmer and cook till the potato is done, about 15-20 minutes.

Chunky Winter Vegetable Soup

Remove the potato from the pot (it will be easy since its just cut in half). Mash it either with a fork or a potato masher. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and stir it well. Put this back into the soup. Mix well. If you like, you can use a potato masher to further blend the soup (or just put it in the blender to make a thick puree, but I love my vegetable soup chunky).

Add 1-2 tablespoons of plain cheese spread (to increase the creaminess of the soup – you can also use plain processed cheese, shredded), stir well to combine, season to taste (add enough salt and pepper!), and serve with crunchy toast. This is one of my favorite comfort food in the winter season and you can totally omit the milk and cheese if you want it healthier. However, as this would feed at least three to four people, I would recommend you to keep them in! Also, you can use your favorite combination of vegetables for this soup – throw in whatever you like – carrot, pumpkin, bell peppers – or make this a more protein-rich one by adding some chicken or white fish. 

Winter Vegetable Soup
Written by Poorna Banerjee

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