Some immunity-boosting soups to keep you warm and healthy in this gloomy, wet weather

With the monsoon having set in, it is the perfect time to experiment making some yummy soups. Here are a few recipes that might even help you keep off wet-weather ailments such as colds and fever. These immunity boosting soups are delicious and can keep your spirits up, too.

Celery soup

Ingredients:

Celery (cleaned and finely chopped) – 1 head

Small onion (peeled and finely chopped) – 2

Flour – 1 tbsp

Salt – to taste

White pepper powder – to taste

Milk – 600ml

For decoration:

A few young celery leaves

Method

Put all ingredients, except the celery leaves in a mixer and puree until smooth. Pour into saucepan and bring slowly to boil, stirring constantly. Pour it through a sieve, return to the rinsed-out pan and reheat gently. Add the seasoning. Garnish each bowl with a few celery leaves.

Cauliflower and green peas soup

Ingredients:

Cauliflower – 1 small

Water – 600 ml

Onion (peeled and minced) – 1

Salt and pepper – to taste

Nutmeg powder – three-fourths tsp

Butter – 50 gm

Flour – 2 tbsp

Milk – 600ml

Green peas frozen – 100 gm

Egg yolk – 1

Method:

Break the cauliflower into florets. Put the cauliflower in salted water and rinse it with fresh water. Put them into a saucepan with water, minced onion and the seasoning. Bring to boil and simmer, cover for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Remove the florets with a slotted draining spoon and mash into a puree.

Melt the butter in a clean saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Gradually stir in the water in which cauliflower is cooked, add the milk and bring to boil, stirring all the time. Reduce the heat, add the cauliflower puree and frozen green peas and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the seasoning if necessary and stir in slightly beaten egg yolk. Return to the heat for one minute, stirring constantly, but do not allow to boil.

Carrot and orange soup

Ingredients:

Carrots – 500 gm

Orange juice – 2 tbsp

Orange rind grated – 2 tsp

Butter – 25 gm

Garlic crushed – 1 clove

Onion (peeled and minced) – 1

Tomato puree – 1 tsp

Salt and finely powdered pepper – to taste

Cornflour – 1 tsp

Cold water – 2 tbsp

Milk – 150 ml

Chopped parsley – to garnish

Method:

Melt the butter in a saucepan; add the crushed garlic, minced onion and grated carrot. Stir and cook, covered, for five minutes over a low heat. Add the water, orange juice, rind and tomato puree. Season to taste. Simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Dissolve the cornflour in water and stir into the soup and simmer for another five minutes. Liquidise the soup in an electric blender or pass through a sieve. Stir in the milk. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Lebanese cucumber soup

Ingredients:

Cucumber peeled – 2 large

Garlic (peeled and crushed) – 2 cloves

Salt – to taste

Sugar – a pinch

Yogurt – 1 litre

Lemon juice – 2 tsp

Mint (finely chopped) – 3 tbsp

Freshly ground black pepper – to taste

Method:

Grate the cucumber coarsely, place in a sieve, sprinkle salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl, add the sugar and stir in the garlic. Gradually pour in the yogurt, stirring constantly. Then stir in the lemon juice, two thirds of the mint, and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle the remaining mint as a garnish and grind a little pepper over the soup to finish. Chill in the refrigerator until serving time.

Cream of onion soup

Ingredients:

Onions (peeled and thinly sliced – 450 gm

Vegetable stock/chicken stock/water – 900 ml

Butter – 25 gm

Salt and pepper powder – to taste

To garnish

Flour – 1 tbsp

Milk – 150 ml

Fresh cream – 2 tbsp

Freshly chopped coriander leaves – a few

Method:

Heat the butter in a cooker; fry the onions gently without colouring, until they start to soften. Add the stock or water and a little salt and pepper. Make sure that the cooker is not more than half full. Bring to high pressure and cook for five minutes. Reduce the pressure quickly. Blend soup in a liquidiser or press through a sieve. Return the soup to the open cooker. Blend the flour with milk, add to the soup and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the cream just before serving . Garnish with chives or coriander leaves.

Red bean and pepper soup

Ingredients:

Red kidney beans – 100 gm

Vegetable stock or water – 900ml

Bacon (chopped) – 50 gm (optional)

Onion peeled and minced – 1

Red capsicum (deseeded and chopped) – 2

Tomatoes (skinned and quartered) – 4

Salt and pepper – to taste

Bay leaf – 1

Method:

Put the beans into a pan. Bring 450 ml of the stock or water to the boil, pour over the beans to cover and leave to stand for one hour. Heat the cooker gently and fry the bacon in its own fat. Add a little more fat if necessary and fry the onion and red capsicum without colouring. Add the tomatoes, beans with their soaking liquid, the remaining stock or water, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Close the cooker, bring to high pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Reduce the pressure slowly. Remove the bay leaf and then blend the soup in a liquidiser or press through the sieve. Return to the open cooker to reheat. Season.

Chicken noodle soup

Ingredients:

Chicken – one leg portion

Small onion (peeled and chopped) – 2

Carrot (cut into small dice) – 1

Egg noodles – 50 gm

Thyme dried – half tsp (optional)

Chicken stock or water – 900 ml

Salt and pepper – to taste

Parsley chopped – a little to garnish

Method:

Cut the leg portion into two pieces – thigh and drumstick. Place the chicken, vegetables, noodles, thyme, stock or water and a little salt and pepper into the cooker. Make sure that the cooker is not more than half full. Close the cooker, bring to high pressure and cook for four minutes. Reduce the pressure quickly. Take the chicken out and remove the meat from the bones. Cut the meat into small pieces and return to the soup. Reheat the soup and add the seasoning. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.