Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Calabash and Cauliflower soup

Also called a Bottle Gourd; Calabash has a tremendous amount of health benefits and is also a very delicious vegetable. It's low in fat and cholesterol yet high in dietary fibre. It is excellent for light, low-cal diets, as well as for people with digestive problems or diabetics. The Calabash's high water content makes it very cooling, yet a low-cal hearty option for meals. Even consuming plain Calabash can be a very good diuretic and is rich in iron and vitamins C and B.

The Calabash has a natural sweetness, which when combined with the creaminess of potatoes and cauliflower, transforms into a
dish that will rule your heart for sure. The versatility of this vegetable lends itself to a spicy masala dish, can be cooked with lentils for a healthier option and can also be turned into a dessert! That's for another post though...

1 medium size Calabash
1 cup of chopped Cauliflower
2 small potatoes
1/2 cup of corn
1 small white onion
1 green chili (optional)
1 teaspoon of sugar
Chili oil (optional) or Chives/Parsley for garnish

1. Peel and chop the Calabash, cauliflower, corn, potatoes and onions in even medium size pieces
2. In a large pressure cooker, add the chopped vegetables and a sliced green chili, add at least 2-3 cups of water
3. Secure the lid (put on the whistle if you have an old school cooker like mine!) and cook on medium-high heat for at least 30 minutes (or 5 whistles)
4. Once the pressure cooker is cooled, open the lib and puree the vegetables using a hand blender
5. Filter the liquid through a sieve and into a large pot, add salt, pepper and sugar and cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes

Serve hot with a drizzle of chili oil or minced parsley or chives! This is a perfect creamy yet healthy soup for any weeknight meal. I usually make a large quantity and store it in my fridge for later use. And guess what, it actually makes for an amazing pasta sauce!!

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