There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of warm soup especially when it is freezing cold outside, everyone in the family is down with cold and cough and when you want something light and wholesome without spending much time in the kitchen!! Last week everyone in the family was down with cold cough and fever.. Rajeev brought the infection home and soon kids and I too were affected. He .Kids and I recovered soon,as we had taken precautions, thanks to all the home remedies, that are passed on to me by my mom and grandparents. It was kind of soup and khichdi dinner week that went by.. Easy and quick to make, warm and filling. Tomato based soups(Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup, Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup with Red Lentils) are a favourite in my house after the chinese flavoured ones(Hot and Sour Soup). In fact tomatoes are an integral part of my cooking in gravies, dals(lentils), chutneys and so many everyday dishes. I usually cook everything from scratch from flatbreads, breads to the curries and cakes. I hardly get any packed soup can or cake mix, that may sound weird to many(too much of work haaann…. ) but that’s how I have seen my mom cooking. Inspite of being a working mom..she used to cook fresh meals for us everyday day with al the seasonal ingredients and veggies. Most of you who have been raised by in India will agree with me on this. It just takes a few minutes to whip up a fresh, healthy and light wholesome meal.
This tomato soup recipe is just all of the above. It is a kind of detox soup that you can make when you want to go on a detox diet. It is gluten-free, vegan and low in oil/fat. And since it uses only the light vegetables it is low in calories and perfect for those who are on weight loss, sugar-free and zero cholesterol diets. This light soup has the goodness of tomatoes and cilantro along with ginger, garlic, some bottle gourd, carrot to give the creaminess. For protein factor and to add texture to the soup I use moong dal(lentil) that is light on stomach and easily digestible. The soup is rich in antioxidants and Vit. C that help in curing cold related infections. It is always advisable to increase the Vit. C in your diet through various food sources whenever suffering from cold and cough. When I look back, when the soups were not a everyday meal thing in Indian household, since those times my mom made this hearty soup that was even relished by my grandparents.
A quick look at the ingredients of the soup and their nutritional benefits..
- Tomatoes and carrots(though I used very less) are one of the best sources of antioxidant lycopene that is anti-inflammatory, rich in Vit. C and minerals like Calcium, Potassium, folate and Vit. K.
- Cilantro or fresh coriander is rich in antioxidants, rich in potassium , calcium, and is anti-inflammatory and antipyretic. Is is one of the best remedies for cold and cough, Lemon Coriander soup(will soon update the recipe) is another comforting soup that is helpful in curing the cold related infections. It also adds on to a fresh punch in the dish and keeps the dish fresh for longer.
- Moong Dal or Split and husked Yellow Moong Lentils are the lightest variety of moong beans and it is easily digestible and light on stomach, and so recommended by ayurveda to consume during fasting/detox or any kind of illness(like fever or stomach infections).
- Bottle Gourd promotes weight loss, helps in digestion and prevents constipation, reduces inflammation of liver and keeps the heart healthy.
- Ginger and garlic, onions and turmeric powder that are used are again rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic that protect the body against infections and build on the immunity.
This soup can be cooked in Pressure Cooker on stove-top and even in Instant Pot. You can cook it on stove-top in an open pan but the moong beans some take time to cook. Wash and soak the lentils 10 minutes before starting to cook the soup. I always pre-soak my lentils/beans before cooking as it shortens the cooking time and also are light on stomach. I have added some tomato paste in the soup along with fresh tomatoes or you can also add tomato sauce in it to get the added flavour. Feel free to skip the paste.
Another thing to keep in mind while cooking with tomatoes is to always add a pinch or two sweetener to balance the acidity of tomatoes. Brown sugar or coconut sugar or maple syrup, any will be okay. Adjust the quantity of sugar as per the sweetness you want in your soup.
Skip Onion and Garlic for a no-onion no-garlic soup or Satvik soup recipe if you are on a detox diet are avoiding onion and garlic. Add a tsp of desi ghee instead of oil or butter.
So come let’s see how I make this light, creamy, rich in antioxidants, low-calorie soup..
Tomato, Cilantro and Moong(Lentil) Soup
- 4 Large Tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Carrot
- 1/.2 Cup Chopped Bottle Groud
- Handful of fresh Cilantro leaves
- 1/4 Cup Split and husked Moong Lentils(Yellow Moong Dal)
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Onions
- 1" Ginger piece
- 3-4 Garlic Cloves
- 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds/Jeera
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Cinnamon Stick (small)
- 4-5 Peppercorns
- 4-5 Cloves
- 1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Coconut Sugar or Brown sugar
- 1 tsp Desi Ghee/Butter/Oil(Flavourless)
- Salt as per taste
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste optional
- Veg Stock or Water as required
- Wash all the veggies and Cilantro. Wash and soak moong dal.
- Chop roughly tomatoes, ginger, garilc and onions
Instant Pot Method
- Switch on the saute mode for Instant Pot and set the time for 5 minutes.
- When the screen shows hot, add oil/ghee or butter, add all the whole spices and cumin seeds.
- Add ginger, garlic and saute for a few seconds,add onions and saute till light pink.
- Add tomatoes, carrots, and bottle gourd and tomato paste and mix.
- Drain the water from the soaked moong dal and cilantro leaves. Add turmeric, salt and water around 2-3 cups.
- Cancel the saute mode, place the cover and set the pressure cook mode (high), set the timer for 5 minutes.
- Once the timer goes off, release the pressure by pressure QPR, and open the cover.
- Blend the soup by hand blender or transfer carefully the contents in blender jar and blend in batches. Before blending take out the bay leaf and cinnamon stick.
- After blending, set the saute mode for 5 minutes, and cook soup for another 2-3 minutes. add sugar and more black pepper(optional). You can adjust the consistency by adding water if you want a thin soup. Let the soup come to a boil, serve hot or keep in warm mode till the time of serving,
In Pressure cooker(Stove-top)
- Follow all the steps under Instant Pot method, till sauteing and adding the veggies and lentil.
- Add veg-stock or water, close the lid and cook till 2-3 whistles. Once the pressure goes down or do the quick release,blend the soup add sugar, adjust the consistency of soup and cook again for 2-3 minutes till the boil comes.
- Serve hot. Garnish with more chopped cilantro and freshly ground pepper.
- Red Lentils can be used inplace of moong beans.
- I have given the method for Instant Pot Ultra. The steps and timings for the setting remain the same. Only the display if different in Ultra.
I am taking my Low calorie soup for the my group #180Foodie Monday Blog hop where the theme this week is Low Cal food, suggested by the gorgeous Sujata Roy, who blogs at Batter Up with Sujata.. Check out her amazing recipes and bakes using healthy and nutritious ingredients.
So do make this soup light and healthy soup, if you are on a weight loss diet or feeling too tired to chop the veggies and cook something delicious. Add up some cream/parmesan cheese for it to make it appealing for them. Vegans can add some almond milk to get the creamy sweet texture, without it also it still has the creaminess due to lentils and bottle gourd. Top it with some croutons or pita chips for the crunch. Add served the soup to kids with some butter toasted Cheese ravioli in parsley and black pepper. I and hubby had with some toasted garlic bread. A light and wholesome meal perfect for the below freezing temperatures here!!
Do try this light detox, low cal soup and give your feedback on it. I will love to see the pics on any of my social media pages..FB or tag me on Instagram(#foodtrails25) whenever your try. You can also Pin the recipe for later use.
Join me in my food trails by following the blog and on my social media accounts. If you like my work do share this with your loved ones.