Yesterday, I wrote about Yamuna Devi's classic book, Yamuna's Table. As many of my readers will know, Ms. Devi is also the author of Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking. This inspiring book has been a staple since I became a vegetarian and quickly changed the way I approached vegetarian food and healthy eating. As I have said in the past, that book is like a bible to me and offers traditional Indian creations and, just like Yamuna's Table, the recipes are mostly straightforward and easily made by cooks in both the Western and Eastern world.
As I mentioned in my last post, Yamuna's Table is a unique collection of over 200 traditional and fusion-style recipes that reflect the growing availability of ingredients for cooks to incorporate into their dishes, all guided by Ayurvedic principles of combining foods and flavors to promote good health and well-being. A characteristic feature of these recipes is the fascinating and unique blend of East-and-West flavors and pairings suggested that are for the most part refreshingly easy to prepare.
Helpful and informative introductions are included with each section and recipe, and a valuable appendix includes menu suggestions. All of the essentials, such as appetizers, salads, soups, grains, legumes, savory pastries and crepes, vegetable dishes and a multitude of desserts and other little gems you will find within the covers. No pictures but these brilliant ideas will inspire you to transform these elegant dishes into something even better than a gorgeous photo - after all, paper doesn't taste very good. You will admire the presentation on your plate and then you get to linger over your meal. Certainly preparing and serving healthy and nourishing meals does not mean you must sacrifice taste. Even those with the most refined palates won't believe how such simple creations can transform your dinner table into something special indeed.
A prime example is this pear soup that I served for dinner. When I first looked at the recipe, I didn't really know what to expect. However I was intrigued by such an interesting combination of fruit, buttermilk and Indian spices served with a dollop of homemade raspberry sorbet. Curious, I decided to give it a try. Another reason I chose this recipe is because it is supposed to be served cold. With blazing temperatures here in southwestern Ontario — especially the day I served it — I just couldn't resist giving it a try.
What a pleasant surprise! I have never tasted anything like it. So light, with a subdued sweetness and tang from the sorbet and a gentle spiciness that does not overpower the pear or buttermilk. I served this soup to my best friend Basil and my husband. They both loved it on such a hot day and Basil remarked that is was absolutely refreshing and good enough to serve in an expensive cafe or little bistro. What an honor to receive such compliments and rave reviews for my food.
This is my contribution to this month's No Croutons Required, hosted by me this time around. The theme for July is vegetarian soups or salads that are especially suited to the hot summer months. You have until the 20th of this month to submit your recipe to the challenge. Looking forward to your inspired entries.
I highly recommend buttermilk for this recipe but if preferred, use plain whole fat yogurt whisked together with a bit of water. Of course, you can also use store-bought sorbet to finish the soup, though again, I recommend using the homemade version because it is easy to prepare and you can add your own flavors.
|Pear Soup with Raspberry Sorbet|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from Yamuna's Table
Published on July 9, 2012
A light, gently sweet and spiced chilled pear and buttermilk soup served with raspberry sorbet
More soups and salads that are especially suited to hot summer temperatures:
Fresh Fruit and Berry Soup
Summer Chickpea Salad
Summer Corn and Ranch Salad
On the top of the reading stack: browsing the shelves
Audio Accompaniment: Bunny and Ricki