No Croutons Required - Indian Vegetarian Soups and Salads

Eager for spring and dreaming of warmer climates, I chose Indian or Indian-style soups and salads as the theme for the March challenge. Sensible vegetarians who are in harmony with good nutrition and exciting taste sensations will be sure to find some inspiration from this month's challenge. Settle in and have a look at all of the mouthwatering entries we received. Though the choice won't be easy, please vote for your favorite in the comment section or by email. Please note that neither my submission, nor Holler's, is eligible for voting.

Our very first entry is from Rama who is relatively new to the blogging world. She shares this easy, earthy Carrot and Lentil Soup that she based on a Rasam recipe she learned from her sister-in-law. Carrots and toor dal are seasoned with some salt and pepper and fresh coriander. We don't have a picture of this soup, but I can image it is very colourful. (USA)

VnV of Veggie Monologues enter the challenge with this nourishing and chunky Lentil and Garbanzo Soup with Choy Sum. The legumes and choy sum are pleasantly flavoured with ginger, garlic, chilies, onion, garam masala, cumin and cilantro. Sounds like an ideal soup to serve along with some flatbread for a most satisfying meal. (Northern California, USA)

Our next entry is this stunning Mulligatawny Soup from Rita of Asparagus and Raspberries. Her version of this popular Anglo-Indian soup is made with potatoes, carrots, leeks, onions, parsnips, apples, corn, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, coconut milk, pistachio nuts, lemon and lime juice and lots of spice. Packed full of nutrients and flavours, this soup won't fail to cure and nourish. (Denmark, Scandinavia)

Next up is Priya with this vitamin rich Spinach and Dal Soup. Spinach and moong dal are simmered with onion, tomato, garlic, pepper, cumin, nutmeg and some cream. This tasty creation is then blended together into a creamy soup and served with some toasted bread. Sounds like a fine lunch or dinner solution to me. (Paris, France)

Arundathi shares this creative Pineapple Salad. The flesh of the pineapple is combined with cilantro, onion and green chilies and dressed with lemon juice, chat masala and salt and pepper. Served in the shell of the pineapple, this fresh and inspired salad would certainly be an impressive addition to a summer meal. (India)

Trupti submits this pretty Green Pea Soup. Consisting of peas, corn, coconut milk, onion, ginger, veggie stock and chili powder, this delightful pureed soup can be served chilled or at room temperature making it a fine addition to any meal, any time of year. (Virginia, USA)

From Soma of eCurry we have this gorgeous Roasted Vegetable Stew with Coconut Milk. A synthesis of a Madhur Jaffrey recipe and her mom's, this healthy stew is made with roasted carrots, potatoes, squash, and bell pepper, in addition to tofu, asparagus, beans, milk, curry leaves, green chilies and spices. Serve this hearty stew with some bread or crackers on the side for a unique and fulfilling cold weather meal. (Plano, Texas, USA)

Pavani of Cook's Hideout comes up with this colourful Curried Rice and Bean Salad. A meal in itself, this salad has brown and white basmati rice, black-eyed peas, shallots, garlic, curry powder, cherry tomatoes, arugula and is dressed with lemon juice and salt and pepper. This pleasing recipe is easily adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. (USA)

Next up is this citrusy South Indian Lemon Rasam from A&N of Delectably Yours. Inspired by N's mom, this warming rasam is made with toor dal, lemon, tomato, ginger, cumin, turmeric, green chilies, and fresh coriander. Serve with rice and perhaps some papadums in place of croutons for a lovely Indian meal. (Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Dhivya of Culinary Bazaar offers up this beautiful Red Lentil and Coconut Soup that is packed full of nutrition and flavour. Lentils and coconut milk combine with onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, lemons, scallions and some fresh cilantro. This vibrant soup was served for lunch with a nice slab of crusty bread. Nothing subdued about that if you ask me! (USA)

My contribution this month is this Mung and Tamarind Dal that I based on a recipe from Dakshin, a highly valued cookbook featuring South Indian dishes. Essentially a sambar, this fiery soup is made up of mung beans, tamarind, lots of green chilies, turmeric and tempered with black mustard seeds, dried red chili, asafoetida and curry leaves. Those who enjoy the heat of Indian dishes will want to try this tasty dal. (London, Ontario, Canada)

Our next entry is this colourful Varuthu Araitha Kootu (Roasted Ground Medley) from Suganya of Tasty Palettes. Moong Dal, and mixed vegetables cooked with some turmeric, are then combined with a fresh spice mixture of red chilies, black pepper, urad dal, grated coconut, asafoetida, and some curry leaves and then tempered with some mustard seeds. A excellent dish to make if you have veggies left over in the crisper, though I'd be tempted to make it anytime and often. (USA)

Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf enters this month with a unique and inspired, thick and creamy, North Indian-style Almond and Vegetable Soup. Potatoes, cabbage, green pepper and onion come together with some milk and roasted almonds and salt and pepper and a bay leaf. Certainly this soup would be the star of any meal. (Bangalore, India)

My treasured friend and co-host of No Croutons Required prepared this lovely Turnip, Cumin and Coriander Soup for our event. Holler spices up squash, potatoes, turnip and onion, with garlic, ginger, cumin, chili powder, black pepper and a generous handful of fresh coriander leaves. Anyone invited into Holler's kitchen is sure to experience culinary bliss. (Scotland, UK)

Last but not least, lovely Maninas contributes a taste sensation with her Punjabi Green Lentils with Deep Brown Onions and Garam Masala and illustrates how patience and willingness to experiment will yield mouthwatering results. Green lentils are simmered with turmeric, and then seasoned with a tarka of cumin seeds, browned onions, ginger, garlic and of course garam masala. No picture, as the family camera is occupied, but I am sure you can use your imagination. (Croatia)

Holler will be hosting April's edition of No Croutons Required. Check back at the beginning of the month for the theme.


eatme_delicious said...

Great choice for the theme! I love seeing what people made. I want to try cooking Indian food more (and find some good recipes) so this (and your blog) are really helpful. =)

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Some really interesting dishes this month Lisa. It was a good idea to have an Indian edition. I am torn between the Pineapple Salad, the Varuthu Araitha Kootu and the Roasted Vegetable Stew with Coconut Milk. Although, I really like some of the other dishes too. It is too hard to choose. I must go back and look again :)

Arundathi said...

thats a great, round-up, Lisa. Was looking forward to a lot more salads, but soup seems to rule the day! :-) Thanks for hosting!

A_and_N said...

Super round-up! Thanks so much for hosting!

Irene said...

All these look so great!

CurryLeaf said...

Comforting round up -so many soups new soup recpes for me,the elegant salad stands out from among the soup bowls

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the round up! Gives me a lot of great new ideas, and also recipes to try!

They all look very good

Astra Libris said...

OOoh, how beautiful! I can't wait to peruse them all and come back soon to vote... :-)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Excellent round-up Lisa. So many delicious soups to choose from:D

Astra Libris said...

Mmmm, such a hard choice, but I'm going to vote for the Punjabi Green Lentils with Deep Brown Onions and Garam Masala... Gorgeous!

Suganya said...

I really like your tamarind moong dal. Can't vote for it, you say? Then Soma's coconut stew gets my vote.

Anonymous said...

I like Maninas's Green Lentils.