Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thai Vegetable Soup


Live in Nannies are not fun. Especially if they tell you "C Didi to apnar theke double mota chilo" ( C Didi (her previous employer) was doubly fat than you)

While Bong Mom wonders if she should be thankful that her fatness quotient hasn't reached the full potential, the Nanny continues, "M Didi to apnar theke koto slim, monei hoyna duita bachcha" (M Didi(apparently the most favored of all past employers) is so much slimmer, doesn't look like she has two kids)

Bong Mom hastily drops the cookie she was munching on and proceeds to make some soup in mortal fear of her bulging anatomy being discussed in the next Didi's house.

Now to the Thai Vegetable Soup which is a delicious one that I first had at my friend N's place. I was apprehensive at the thought of consuming so many "good for me" veggies at one go. But my fears were allayed after the first spoonful. It was warm, delicious, with the subtle hint of spice and very comforting with the thought that consuming such liquids might put your waistline back to there rightful position.

I am out of sync with most events in blogosphere but just saw this one and thought this soup would be a good entry as it has Red Lentils as one of its main ingredients.
So this goess off to My Legume Love Affair brainchild of Susan and hosted this time by dear Srivalli

Also since I am getting comments saying "Yellow" this goes off to Sunshine Mom' FIC Yellow

Thai Vegetable Soup

How I Did It

Heat 3 tbsp of Peanut Oil.

Add 2 tbsp of grated fresh Ginger and 1 small Red Chilli pepper finely sliced. I added 3 hot green Indian Chillies. You can also add 2 crushed dry red chili pepper.

Add 1 small Red Onion chopped and saute till translucent

Add 1 small parsnip roughly chopped, 4 large carrots chopped, 2 stalks of celery thinly sliced and 1 medium potato peeled and sliced. You can play around with the veggies, I added turnip instead of parsnip.

Edited on 01/31/11: Roasted a butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper and little honey. Instead of above vegetables used the roasted squash and potatoes

Add 1/4 tsp of Cumin powder and 1/4 tsp of Curry Powder and saute for a couple of minutes. I added about 1 tsp of Curry Powder
Edited on 01/31/11: Use a pinch of Garam masala in absence of curry powder

Add 1/2 cup of Red Lentil (our very own Masoor dal). Mix well and add about 6 cups of water or vegetable stock. Add salt.

If you have Kafir Lime Leaves add two of them. Instead 1 tsp of lime zest will do just fine

Cook till the veggies and lentil is done.

Cool and puree in batches in a blender

Bring back to a boil on the stove top. Add 1 cup of coconut milk (less is fine).

I added about 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice at this point, add according to your taste. Garnish with fresh corriander and basil leaves.

Trivia: Curry powder is a mixture of spices of widely varying composition developed by the British during their colonial rule of India. Yeah they made everything fanous from "Curry Powder" to "Slumdog Millionaire"


  1. How many such comments I've faced in my lifetime! Often, some are meant to be comforting and kind but they end up having just the opposite effect.
    Sandeepa, when I visited Cal in July and ate at a Bengali restaurant, they served slices of what they called Gandharaj Nimbu - I bit into one taking it for cucumber, and it tasted just like kaffir lime leaf - Is that the kaffir lime? The shape was similar but the surface was not so knobbly.

  2. LOL... I dropped the all butter croissant I was about to bite into in favour of porridge and oats. Soup looks divine, but you tend to gravitate towards all things fatty when pregnant no??

  3. Sandeepa, lol at your nanny's comments... I could almost hear her :-D

    The soup looks lovely :-)

  4. Aahh .. the pleasure of a dig at your master's expense. One of my friends recently got a similar comment from the one she employed ... only that she is slim enough ... and she had adopted ( only the nanny did not know). So go back to that cookie Sandeepa. Thai soup sounds wonderful. :-)

  5. lovely - i love the great thai flavors and this certainly looks awesome!

  6. LOL !!! So you on nanny diet, eh? :)

  7. Ah! the pleasures of nannies and gossips :) I was adviced by a friend to hire a nanny who does not understand the language we speak at home or else our affairs would end up in the BBC so to speak.

    The soup looks lovely by the way.

  8. ROTFL!! How dare she?


    Atleast she said you are "thinner" than the other one! Be happy woman!! ;D

    Soup's yummy, comforting for a cold day. We are back up to 50s F again, lot better. Got some shopping to do at 10am today, buying new dining room set.Have fun there! :)

  9. Ha ha.. that is funny! It's good that you have help at home. Hope you and the kids are doing well.

  10. Ur nanny makes me think about our home cook back home :) If we have a nanny like you do definetly it will motivate to reduce our waist line! Delicious Thai flavor!

  11. Uh-oh, the nanny is keeping you in check, huh? :)

  12. LOL Sandeepa.. The way u put it, i could hear her say it:-) don't bother... atleast u are slimmer than one.. I still cannot stop laughing.

    That soup is wholesome & delicious. (Thanks to the "nosey Nanny" ? )

  13. LOL... I can totally imagine what you felt... I was asked my maid once if I was pregnant... In her defense, my parents were visiting and I was looking particulary fat that morning, but I was MAAAD! She is really good so I am still keeping her around, its been about 5 years since the incident :) After that I make sure I suck in my tummy whenever I see her.. :)

  14. Hey! How are you? I've not visited in a while - things have just been hectic at my end.

    All the best for the new year.

  15. NotYet :)


    I don't know if Gandharaj is Kaffir lime, have not seen a single Kaffir Lime in my lifetime. The leaf of Gandharaj has a very strong lemony smell too and my grandma's place had a tree, so we used to usually have it in Dal for flavor


    Nah, you don't need to, nothing will ever change your fabulous figure :-)

    Ah, you should hear her more :)

    See that kind of comments are good

    Thank you dear

    Good name for the diet :) But I can't stick to any at all

    You are so right. At least she doesn't interfere in my other conversation like a friend's nanny does

    You are having a gala time, whole house remodeled and now new furniture :) I love such shopping

    Yeah this time around I decided to go back to work, so had to have someone after the parents left

    Me thinks to go back to the gym now ;-), where maybe I can munch on that cookie

    Good to see you after such a long time


    Ar bolo na :-)

    You with your lovely figure, come on

    Good to see you dear, settle down and come back

  16. First time here you have a wonderful space...enjoyed your post..LOL...the thai vegetable soup looks very inviting :-)

  17. Dear Sandeepa

    You can let go of the live-in Nanny's delirium, and enjoy life and motherhood. No need to have a relapse of childbirth blues for this. The Thai Soup looks too inviting,.... since I love most of the Thai dishes. Enjoy the soup, the chill and the season it(if you really feel that u can take it) with the Nanny's comments.

    Sometimes I wonder whether I can grow a lebu gaachh in a pot? Any idea???

    Have fun and take care.

  18. Oh yes i am used to hear comments like these too.
    Now i just ignore them.
    Ofcouse i is not from a nanny i hear these.

  19. nannies are a necessary evil.. thank god i don't have seeing me snack every time i pass the kitchen.!! Oh by the way, i have gone to Moksha before..It's a blend of kerala, tamil nadu and kannada food. But u are right, good non veg. Their shrimp stuff is very Keralite.

  20. not to forget Chicken Tikka!

    My maid also tells me in Bengali how much her other didi loves her. I wonder what I'm supposed to do :-)

    Nice soup :-)

  21. Ha Ha that's funny

    soups looks very delicious

  22. Hi Sandeepa, It's my first time here, and I must say you have a lovely blog. I also loved your poem in the previous post: you captured so well those sentiments about being an Indian during this very exciting time of change for America.
    Thanks for this lovely recipe, and I hope to see you around in the blog world.

  23. Wow comforting and refreshing....

  24. Hi Sandeepa, enjoyed reading your post as always. Had a good laugh reading the digs even nannies make J. But how to convince them that people who blog about food are food lovers and food makers, so that's it…Gotta taste what what one is blogging right!

  25. LOL!..thats such a funny thing...enjoyed reading sandy..good to have you back!...soup looks great...thanks for the entry!

  26. It does sound like Nanny dear is going to have quite a huge role to play henceforth in the blog:) Don't feel so bad on leaving the kids with the nanny if she is really good - I am sending lots of good luck your way for that.

    I like your Thai soup. I mad a Thai curry which I could not embrace much because of the garlic infused coconut milk. Yours is more appealing to me. Will try this soon, and am adding this to FIC now:)!

  27. Gandharaj lebu is indeed kafir lime.(someone asked in their comment whether it was) The receipe looks very nice.

  28. Whenever I go to the Bangladeshi store here, I get my share of Gandharaj Lebu. Its perfect with Thai curries. Your soup looks great with that texture and color.


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