Zelda Pande's Rajma and Vegetable Soup is a hearty, healthy, red bean soup, that tastes marvellous, especially in chilly weather.
Those who like their meat may consider adding a sliced fried sausage to it.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Max Kiesler/Wikimedia Commons
Rajma and Vegetable Soup
- 1 cup rajma or large red kidney beans
- 2½-3 cups water
- 5-6 large pods garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 long stalk celery with leaves, finely chopped
- 10-11 French beans, topped and tailed, finely chopped
- 1 medium orange carrot, peeled, grated
- 4 large firm tomatoes, cut in chunks
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tej patta or bay leaf
- 1 vegetable soup cube or 1 tbsp vegetable broth powder, available gourmet grocery stores and online
- Dash black pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- Soak the rajma overnight.
Boil the rajma over medium heat in a pressure cooker for 6-7 whistles. The rajma should be just done, not raw, but firm.
Grind half of the rajma to a smooth paste in a mixer/grinder with ½ cup of the water.
Keep the whole rajma and the rajma paste aside.
- Grind the tomatoes to a paste, without water, in a mixer/blender.
- In a large thick-bottomed saucepan or soup pot/Dutch oven, saute the onions, garlic in the olive oil for five minutes over low heat.
Add the whole rajma, rajma paste, carrot, French beans, bay leaf, salt, soup cube, black pepper, celery and 2 cups water.
Boil the soup over medium heat -- stirring occasionally so the paste does not stick to the bottom of the pan -- till the vegetables are done, about 10 minutes.
Adjust the water -- add more water, if necessary, to attain thick soup consistency.
Add the tomato paste.
Simmer again for 5-8 minutes.
Serve piping hot with a green salad or garlic bread/toast.
Note: This a very healthy soup with almost no oil. Should you want to gussy it up (and make it richer and less weight-watching) drizzle a little cream at the end and saute the onion and garlic in 1-2 tbsp butter instead of olive oil.
If you prefer, add one or two more vegetables, like half a red/green capsicum and/or, 3-4 mushrooms, finely chopped and/or 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley.
Meat lovers might prefer to add a chopped, fried large sausage to the soup when the tomato paste is added.
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