It is also ridiculously easy to make and you can use your imagination for the vegetables and toppings that go into it. My 9 year old recently shared with me an astute observation. She thought that the more I toiled over a dish, in terms of effort and time, the less she enjoyed it. I guess what she was telling me is that the simplest dishes that usually ended up taking me the least amount of time to make, ended up being the ones that she relished the most! Win-win for the two of us, I say :).
Ingredients (makes 3 medium servings of soup):
- Tomatoes (2 super large ones or 3 medium sized ones)
- Yellow Onions (1 medium onion)
- Chopped vegetables (carrots, asparagus – you can also use cauliflower, broccoli, beans, zucchini etc.) (1 cup)
- Moong sprouts (you can also use other sprouts like kidney beans, garbanzo beans etc.)(1/2 cup)
- Pasta (optional) (I used about 1/2 cup of uncooked pasta)
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (3/4 tsp)
- Sugar (1 tsp)
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and onions and pressure cook (for 2 whistles and 2 minutes on simmer) with some water (enough to cover the vegetables) and salt. Cool, grind it completely and keep aside. Don’t add any extra water as yet.
- Steam cook the vegetables and sprouts with some salt (I used a steamer, but you may do this in whatever manner works for you – just don’t overcook the vegetables!) Keep aside.
- Cook the pasta. Drain out the water and keep aside.
- Now just add the vegetables, sprouts, pasta into the tomato-onion broth base. Adjust the salt and add sugar and pepper.
- Add the water that you have remaining from steaming the vegetables into the broth. If you need more, feel free to add some water until you get the desired consistency for the soup. Bring the soup to a boil.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and voila – your tasty, tangy soup is ready – so dig in! Makes for a great lunch box with some grilled cheese toast for the kids.
Sweet (pasta, carrots, mung sprouts, onions), sour (tomatoes), salty (salt), bitter (coriander leaves), pungent (onion, pepper), astringent (mung sprouts, coriander leaves)
Tomatoes are pitta aggravating. But with their sour and hints of sweet taste, they are good for vatas and during vata (Fall) season. Cooked onions are good for vatas and okay for pittas, but slightly kapha provoking due to their grounding qualities. Again, in vata season, we want more of grounding foods, so adding some amount of cooked onions in your diet is fine. Mung sprouts are great for all doshas, especially pitta and kapha – but like other beans/legumes, the saponins in them make them slightly difficult to digest. Soaking and sprouting reduces this effect as well. Mung is the lentil/legume of choice in Ayurveda since it is easily digestible and has cleansing properties. Pasta is again nutritive, building and can be kapha aggravating in excess – it is totally fine in moderate quantities for all doshas. It is important to have it with digestive spices like pepper, to improve digestibility. Overall, this is a fairly tridoshic recipe – reduce quantity of sprouts for vatas, balance sourness of tomatoes using a little bit of sugar and cooked onions for pittas, and reduce the amount of pasta for kaphas.
If this soup is made mild i.e. no domination of sour, salty and pungent tastes, with fresh ingredients, this can be considered sattvic. Since pasta is processed, this can add to the tamasic element – you can easily replace the pasta with another grain of choice like barley, quinoa, brown rice etc. I am fine with small quantities of pasta since the kids enjoy it occasionally.