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Soups

At the start of a meal, or as a main meal in itself, soups are nutritious, satisfying and easy to prepare. Nothing is more warming or fulfilling than a hearty bowl of soup on a cold day – it nourishes both body and soul. On a warm summer’s day, a light soup is refreshing.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Simple wholesome, pure foods like this soup help to maintain physical health and mental equilibrium. Try to use ripe red tomatoes, though the grated carrot ensures that whatever tomatoes you use the soup will not be too tart. Roasting the tomatoes first adds an exotic flavour to the soup.

Serves 4–6

450 g tomatoes
2 tablespoons oil
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 carrot, grated
2 sticks of celery, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or ¾ teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon torn fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
750 ml hot water
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
basil and oregano leaves, or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

1) Preheat the oven to 200 °C/400 °F/gas mark 6 and roast the whole tomatoes, turning frequently until the skins fall away (about 15 minutes). Cool slightly, the peel and chop them.

2) Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the pepper, carrot and celery over a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the oregano and basil, stir well and cook for a few more minutes.

3) Add the water and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Half cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or blender and blend for a few seconds. Return the soup to the pan and reheat if necessary, then serve garnished with fresh basil and oregano leaves or chopped parsley.

  • For a thicker consistency, add 200 g chopped cooked potatoes to the vegetables.
  • For an even heartier soup, add some cooked grain 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
  • For a creamier soup, add a little soya milk or cream just before serving.

Basic Vegetable Soup

The variations on this basic theme are endless. In winter, root vegetables, such as parsnips, turnips and swedes, make a grounding, warming soup base. In the summer, lighter greens may be substituted, along with fresh herbs. This is an easy soup to make for any number of people. For a stronger flavour, add one bay leaf per four people with the vegetables. The ingredients below are for one person; simply multiply them by the number of people you want to feed.

Recipe per person

50 g mixed vegetables (celery, courgettes, carrots, turnips, swede, potatoes)
½ tablespoon oil or 7 g butter (optional)
250 ml water
sea salt or tamari to taste
chopped parsley or coriander, to garnish (optional)

1) Clean the vegetables; dice or slice attractively.
2) If liked, heat the oil or butter in a pan and sauté the mixed vegetables until they are slightly softened.
3) Place the water in a large pan or soup pot and bring to the boil. Add the vegetables. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
4) Season with tamari or sea salt, and serve garnished with chopped parsley or coriander.

Blended Vegetable Soup

After cooking, transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and purée it until smooth. Return it to the pan and heat through. Serve garnished with parsley or coriander.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

Pulses maybe pre-soaked, added to the water and cooked until almost soft before adding the vegetables.

Spring Vegetable Soup

For each person, add 25 g seasonal greens, such as sorrel, spinach, dandelion or watercress, or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, fennel, dill or tarragon, to the soup before seasoning it. Cook for a further 5 minutes and then season with sea salt or tamari.

Creamy Vegetable Soup

Replace some of the water with milk or soya milk. Do this towards the end of the cooking as milk/soya milk should not be boiled but only heated. Alternatively, add 1–2 tablespoons cream or yoghurt per person before serving.

Creamy Vegan Soup

For each person, sauté 1 tablespoon rolled oats with the chopped vegetables. This makes a light, creamy, nourishing soup.

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