Manchow Soup

It is always hard to replicate the flavours of a foreign cuisine at home. I have always struggled with Chinese dishes and was almost about to give up when I came across a recipe for Manchow soup. This is a great dish and I found it very versatile as it can be used as the base for veg ball manchurian dish or you can add fried paneer and capsicum to make it a chilli paneer dish. It would go perfectly with fried noodles to make it American chopsuey or can be eaten with fried rice as well. Just adjust the consistency.

Here is my version of Manchow soup.

Ingredients

1 carrot

ΒΌ head cabbage

1 capsicum

8-10 french beans

1 large onion

8-10 garlic cloves

1 inch ginger

1 Green chilli

2 tbsp oil

3-4 cups water or vegetable stock

1 tbsp chilli sauce

2 tbsp dark soya sauce

1 tbsp tomato ketchup

2 tbsp vinegar

4-5 tbsp cornflour

Salt and Pepper to taste

Manchow Soup

The first step is to prep the vegetables. Some people like to chop them into tiny bits. However, it is easier to shred them in a food processor. It will give better texture and the process itself is very fast. So shred the carrot, cabbage and capsicum to get about 2 cups of vegetables. Chop or julienne the french beans. Keep aside.

Chop the onion, garlic and ginger as well as the green chillies.

Heat oil in a large pan and saute the onions, garlic and ginger followed by the rest of the vegetables.

Add the water or if you prefer, vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer on low.

Add soya sauce, ketchup and chilli sauce.

Add salt and pepper.

Mix cornflour in a few spoonfuls of water and add to the soup. Let the soup thicken. Keep stirring continuously when adding cornflour to avoid forming lumps.

Add vinegar and let the soup simmer for 10-15 mins.

Serve hot with croutons and cream.

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Chilled Corn and Coconut Soup

This recipe has been submitted to Monthly Mingle for Dec 2009 being organized by What’s for Lunch Honey? and Tongueticklers.

I recently read The Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. The chef is describing the turning point of his life. He was less than 10 years old and had gone to France to visit relatives. That was when he tasted French cooking for the first time. Soup was served and it was cold. He was so taken by surprise that a cold soup and a yummy one at that could exist that it left an indelible mark on him. Funnily, it has also made a huge impact on me and the incident, though experienced only second hand, will always stay with me. This recipe of chilled corn and coconut soup is in memory of that moment when I felt the shock cold soup brought to a top chef when he was a little boy.

The recipe is simple in itself and very wholesome. A beautiful blend of corn and coconut milk, the flavor is enhanced by jalapeno chile and the simple art of reduction.

Ingredients

200 ml coconut milk

2 cups sweet corn

2 cups water

1 jalapeno chile

Salt and Pepper

A dash of lemon juice

Chilled Corn and Coconut Soup

Deseed jalapeno chile and chop it into little pieces. Pour water in a pot. Add chopped chile, corn and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for 30 mins. Let it cool.

Pass the soup through a blender. Sieve and discard solids. Season with salt and pepper.

Chill overnight or for 4-5 hours.

Add lemon juice only just so much. Serve cold.

Garnish – Black pepper and corn kernels.