By | May 13, 2017

~ Pumpkin, Tomatoes, Turmeric Soup with Barley Grains ~

From Asian rich soups to Western thick soups, whether they are thin or thick, mild or spicy. I just love soups, particularly, a warm thick soup with vegetable base to warm any rainy & cloudy days and a Chinese Chicken soup to hydrate us on any sunny & hot days. Basically, on any lazy or stressful days, the liquid content in soups keep us hydrated with all the nutritional goodness. There may be many other benefits linking to the consumption of homemade soups. For this week, a thick soup with some fibrous leftover barley grains served me and my family well.

I really like making them as it is so flexible that you may add a wide variety of vegetables in making thick soups, including those that you do not usually eat often in larger quantity due to the distinct taste and lack of cooking ideas. In my case, just to name a few, beetroot, spring onion, purple carrots, parsnips and various spices. Some even claimed that a certain type of soup may lead to weight loss! Needless to say, sodium and hygiene levels are well under control when you make your own thick soups. I would simplify my observation from thick soups into 4 main benefits :-

  1. Easy to swallow for all from babies as young as 6 months old to any aged ones without teeth. I started cooking thick soups for my little girl since she was 9 months old with fewer ingredients mixed and I am still cooking thick soups for her now that she is soon-to-be 4 years old with more ingredients and spices added. This is real food for all ages!
  2. More variety of nutrients consumed and absorbed by the body without burdening the digestion tract. Sometimes, I just want to have a small quantity but a wide variety of vegetables to make a more nutritional meal.
  3. Save eating efforts and time to bite and chew. Instead of having to eat, I just sip in spoonful of soup with little efforts. This is very helpful, especially when one is stressed and when one have fallen ill.
  4. Hearty soups warm the tummies and make food for the soul.

Turmeric and pearled barley are the 2 ingredients that I topped to a typical pumpkin soup to give it a boost of natural anti-inflamatory compound, fibrous and fat substance from the respective ingredients. This soup recipe immersed an Asian flavour to a generally termed “Western Soup” like how my hubby would call it. Without these 2 ingredients, this recipe will be an ordinary pumpkin soup. I have also used butter and coconut milk to give it a little higher in fat content to make a more filling effect.

This soup is great to go with some croissants, egg wraps or just a slice or 2 artisan bread. I guessed this soup recipe can be classified in the fusion category with an Asian crossed over with Western taste? May be this is nothing new to some but I love this since my little girl loves it. It makes my cooking life so much easier. When she first tasted this soup this week, partly because she loves barley, she told me that I can cook this again tomorrow! That was truly a heart-warming moment. This soup is simply rich and flavourful with a texture perfect for our taste buds.

Soup ingredients cooked under the temperature range of 97°C to 99°C (which is defined in the AMC cooking with the Easy Quick Lid as “Steam Window”) are naturally flavourful without drying it the soup liquid, resulting in rich and concentrated taste and nutritional values. This is because the heat level is accurately controlled to cook automatically under the temperature range just a degree below 100°C for as long as the time required to cook, in this case for 10 minutes.

When soup liquid is cooked just under a 100°C within a tightly sealed AMC Pot, it uses the principle of convection, where hot steam particles rise and cold steam particles drop back down. It means that the evaporated steam is contained within the pot, resulting in the retention of liquid in soup cooked due to its unique design. This concept applies to all cooking done with the AMC Premium Cooking System. No additional water is required for cooking to optimize nutrients in food, only sufficient water.

Pumpkin, Tomatoes, Turmeric Soup with Barley Grains Recipe (Serves 6) :

  1. 1 medium Brown Onion (roughly chopped)
  2. 4 cloves Garlic (skin removed & roughly mashed)
  3. 50 grams Butter
  4. 200 grams Pumpkin (chunky cut)
  5. 3 medium Potatoes (roughly cubed)
  6. 12 Cherry Tomatoes (roughly wedged)
  7. 500ml Water
  8. 2 big ladles Leftover Cooked Barley Grains, refer to Plain Barley Drink recipe here. (You may cook from scratch too!)
  9. 2 stalks Spring Onion (chopped an inch long)
  10. 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder (you may try 1/2 teaspoon if you are unsure if your kids would like them)
  11. 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper Powder (you may try 1 teaspoon if your kids like them a bit tangier)
  12. 1/2 teaspoon Salt (you may adjust according to you and your kids taste buds. I opted out.)
  13. 6 tablespoons Coconut milk

AMC Healthy Cooking Method :

  1. Add mashed garlic and chopped onion into an AMC 20cm 4.0 litre Pot unit.
  2. Cover Pot unit with an AMC Easy Quick Lid. Switch on Navigenio to heat level “3”. Turn on Audiotherm, place on Visiotherm knob, indicating “Meat Window” or 50°C to brown.
  3. As Audiotherm beeps, turn off Audiotherm and leave Navigenio at heat level “3”. Add butter to pot and stir gently.
  4. Add pumpkin, potatoes and tomatoes into the Pot and gently stir-fry. Add water. Stack up an AMC 20cm Steamer unit onto the Pot unit. Place the AMC Salad bowl with leftover cooked pearled barley into the Steamer unit to reheat. Switch on Navigenio to automatic “A”. Turn on Audiotherm, place on Visiotherm knob, indicating “Steam Window” or 97°C and set to cook for 10 minutes.
  5. As Audiotherm beeps, turn off both Navigenio & Audiotherm. Remove Steamer unit and place it onto the upturned Easy Quick Lid. Add spring onion, turmeric powder, salt & pepper to soup and gently stir to mix well.
  6. With a hand-held blender, blend all ingredients till smooth. Add the reheated leftover barley to the blended soup. Drizzle with coconut milk before serving warm.

Tips : Do not reheat leftover thick soup directly in a Pot unit on an automatic mode. Heated spots may not regulate evenly. The same applies to reheating of porridge/congee. Reheating of such thick liquid content should be done :-

  1. with manually adjusted heat on Navigenio. Heat level “4” may be used to bring thick liquid content up to “Meat Window” or 50°C before reducing the to heat level “2” to cook up to 98°
  2. with automatic mode in a Softiera Dish unit in a Pot unit filled with 150ml to 200ml water for about 10 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on the amount and temperature of leftover soup to be reheated.

Prepare all ingredients and place them in the AMC 24cm Serving Dish and set aside.

These are the flavours and aromatic ingredients added to the soup.

Place garlic and onions into the 20cm 4.0 litre Pot unit.

Cover Pot unit with the Easy Quick Lid and bring ingredients to “Meat Window” or 50°C.

When garlic and onions are brought to 50°C, add butter to Pot unit to brown.

Add all the ingredients to the Pot unit (except spring onion).

Add water to the Pot unit.

Cover Pot unit with the Easy Quick Lid. Turn on the Navigenio to the automatic mode, “A” and initialize the Audiotherm to bring all ingredients to boil up to “Steam Window” or 97°C and set 10 minutes to simmer.

When Audiotherm beeps, it indicates that soup is ready. Look at the water level of soup. It does not dry up due to the delicate temperature control in cooking from the start till the end.

Add spring onions and turmeric powder to the soup.

Add black pepper powder. I omitted salt in this.

Blend with a handheld blender.

till all ingredients are well blended to a smooth consistency.

Leftover barley grains from the refrigerator may be placed in a steamer over the Port unit while cooking soup.

Steamed barley grains added to the soup. Stir well to mix.

Drizzle with a tablespoon of coconut milk.

Thick soup ready to be served warm with any bread of choice.

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