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2 recipes for nourishing winter soups

Take your pick from these recipes: a comforting bread bowl broth, or a umami-rich smoked bell pepper soup

Homemade broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl. (Istockphoto)
Homemade broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl. (Istockphoto)

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In winter, a bowl of wholesome soup can qualify for a meal. These will nourish you after an indulgent Christmas, and prepare you for a weekend of partying. Cook, relish, repeat with these recipes.

Winter broccoli and yellow cheddar bread bowl soup
Recipe by chef Deepak Sarkar, culinary director, Raffles Jaipur

2 round sourdough bread loaves
1 broccoli
1 cupyellow English cheddar cheese
1carrot, medium sized
Half an onion, chopped
6 tsp flour
Half stick celery, chopped
Half stickleeks, chopped
1 tbsp butter, unsalted
Half litre vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
Pinch of nutmeg powder
Salt to taste
Fresh ground crushed black pepper to taste
1 cup milk

1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and leeks cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Then gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Add the vegetable broth, bay leaf and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the bread bowls: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.

3. Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth; you'll still have chunky pieces of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.

4. Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to half cup water if the soup is too thick. Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with cheese.

Smoked red bell pepper soup
Recipe by chef Sundar Singh Rawat, chef de cuisine, Fairmont Jaipur

Smoked red bell pepper soup by chef Rawat.
Smoked red bell pepper soup by chef Rawat.

400 gms red bell peppers
60 ml olive oil
1 whole garlic
2-5 yellow and red cherry tomatoes
30 gm leek
10 gm smoked paprika
Salt to taste
1 gm pepper
15 gm sugar
1 slice brioche bread
30 gm butter
Micro greens for garnishing
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp soft butter

1. Rub the bell peppers with olive oil. In a preheated oven, roast at 200 C until charred spots appear on the skin.

2. Confit the whole clove of garlic. To do so, cut off the head of the garlic and ensure all the pods are exposed; place in a small baking pan and immerse it in olive oil; put the pan in a preheated oven at 270 C. Bake till all the pods are soft. Let it cool and then squeeze out the roasted pulp. Blitz the pulp for a puree-like consistency.

3. After the bell peppers are charred, allow them to cool. Then peel off the charred skin and chop roughly.

4. Put olive oil in a pan in low heat. Sauté the leeks, add garlic puree and chopped bell peppers. Cook in low-medium heat till bell peppers are tender.

5. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Add smoked paprika and vegetable stock. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 15 mins.

6. Add soft butter. Let it cool a bit. Now, blend with a hand-blender and strain through a sieve. Keep aside.

7. Toast the brioche slice till it’s crunchy and roughly chop. Slice the cherry tomatoes and clean the micro greens. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with toasted brioche pieces, cherry tomatoes slices and micro greens. Serve warm.

Also read | Soups, salads, sandwiches—rajma recipes for all


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