Coconut milk rasam soup

Mature coconut meat is sold in the market whole, with the shell removed. I buy my coconut with the shell, as the meat is fresher than that above.

Mature coconut meat is sold in the market whole, with the shell removed. I buy my coconut with the shell, as the meat is fresher than that above.

Rasam is a South Indian soup. There are many different types of rasam, but the common ingredients tend to be tamarind juice, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. After discovering tomato rasam, coconut milk rasam is now my daughter’s favorite.

Prep-ahead tip:

Make the coconut milk and rasam powder ahead of time. You can look for rasam powder at the Indian grocery store, but it may contain channa dal, which is garbanzo beans/chickpeas, not allowed on the GAPS diet. I got a recipe for rasam powder off the internet and omitted the channa dal. Making the rasam powder was fun and smelled delicious! The other benefit to making your own rasam powder is that you can add less chilli if you want. (The recipe I used called for cups of chilli powder!)

Coconut milk rasam—serves 4

  • ¼ cup tamarind (for more about tamarind, see here)
  • cooking fat of choice, such as ghee or coconut oil
  • ¼ t mustard seeds
  • 1/8 t hing
  • ¼ t turmeric
  • 1 T rasam powder
  • 1 stem curry leaves
  • 2 small or 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  1. Immerse tamarind in 1 cup warm water. Using your hands, remove any hard material from the tamarind, including the seeds. The tamarind juice remains.
  2. In a medium-large pot on medium-high heat, add cooking fat and then mustard seeds. When they start to sizzle and pop, add the hing, turmeric, rasam powder, curry leaves and tomatoes. Saute for 1 minute.
  3. Add the tamarind water and 2 more cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add coconut milk and salt. Allow to come to a light simmer. Do not boil coconut milk; otherwise it will curdle!
  5. Add chopped coriander leaves and serve.

coconut rasam

Fassoulatha–Greek white bean soup

Here is another simple yet fulfilling soup. Lima beans and white navy beans are the only two beans allowed on the GAPS diet.

This one I also adapted from eatingwell.com.

*prep ahead: soak beans at least 4 hours. Will need to cook 1.5-4 hours.

Fassoulatha

  • 1 cup dry white beans, lima or navy
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated
  • cooking fat of choice (i.e. ghee, coconut oil)
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced or chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut into coins
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cups broth/stock
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • salt
  • black pepper to grind
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • juice of 1 lemon
  1. After soaking beans, rinse and drain. With enough water to cover beans, cook with turmeric and ginger. I like to cook beans as long as 4 hours (no, they don’t fall apart or get mushy), but 1.5 hour will do if you’re in a hurry.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat cooking fat. Add oregano, and then onion, carrots and celery.
  3. When they start to soften, add broth, beans with cooking liquid, tomatoes, and salt.
  4. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are done (can insert knife into piece of carrot but it doesn’t fall apart).
  5. Pour into serving bowl and top with parsley and little lemon juice.

January 2013 003

White bean soup with cabbage & cheese

For me, soup is the best way to consume our daily meat broth/stock, so I’m always looking for new soup recipes. This recipe is adapted from an Italian Peasant Soup recipe I saw from eatingwell.com.

White bean soup with cabbage and cheese

*Prep ahead: Soak beans at least four hours. Will need to cook beans for 1.5-4 hours.

  • 1 cup dry white beans, navy or lima
  • 1/2 t turmeric powder
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated
  • cooking fat
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, sliced
  •  5 cups broth/stock
  • black pepper to grind
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Rinse soaked beans. With enough water to cover beans, cook with turmeric powder and ginger, at least 1.5 hours, ideally more.
  2. In a large pot, heat the cooking fat. Add the bay leaf. When it sizzles, add the onions and cook until they start to turn brown.
  3. Add the garlic and cabbage and saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add the broth and beans. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook until cabbage is tender, 10-15 minutes.
  5. Pour soup into bowls and top with cheese and ground black pepper.

IMG_0533

Tomato Rasam—Indian Tomato Soup

Rasam is a light soup from South India. There are many different types of rasams, such as tomato rasam, lemon rasam and garlic rasam. It usually has a sour taste, either from tamarind or lemon juice. Many rasam recipes have tomatoes, and common spices include roasted cumin seeds, fried mustard seeds and curry leaves, lentils, and chili, of course. Rasam is my child’s new favorite Indian dish. We love the sour taste of the tamarind balanced with the sweetness of a few dates instead of the usual white sugar or jaggery sugar.  As a light meal, we like it with papaR, Indian lentil chips.

DSC05699

Ingredients–serves 3

  • 3 medium tomatoes, halved
  • 1 lime sized ball of tamarind with seeds, or 2 T tamarind pulp
  • 3 dates (optional)
  • 1 t cumin
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1 T ghee/oil
  • ¼ t black mustard seeds
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 t red chili powder (optional)
  • ¼ t turmeric
  • Pinch or 2 of hing
  • Curry leaves, 1 stem

Make the concentrate

  1.  Soak pitted dates in a bowl of 1 cup warm water. With hands submerged in the same water, remove the seeds and any hard material from the tamarind. Most of a sticky ball of tamarind is seed with very little pulp leftover.
  2. Blend tamarind and date mixture. Add tomatoes and blend.
  3. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet on about medium to medium-high. Dry roast the cumin seeds and black peppercorns. Remove from heat before turning completely brown. Grind to a powder in a spice/coffee grinder, with a mortar and pestle, or with a rolling pin.

Make the soup

Heat tamarind, date and tomato blend in a medium sauce pan. Add roasted cumin, black pepper, salt and 2 ½ cups water. Bring to a simmer.

Add the spices

While soup is just heating up, in a small pan heat the ghee/oil on medium to medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds. When most seeds have popped, add garlic, turmeric and red chili powder (if using). Turn down the heat and cook garlic pieces. Then add hing and curry leaves and turn off heat. Add spices to soup.