Creamy Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk

Creamy chicken soup

Got stock? Make soup.

In my previous post about mutton roast I mentioned how I saved the stock to use it in another dish. That’s how this soup came about. This soup can also double as a stew. With a very few ingredients, you can whip this up in under 15 minutes. No chopping, cutting or any big prep work needed here. But the stock is a must. If you don’t have chicken or meat stock, use a stock cube with water. Won’t match the real deal, but close enough.

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Chicken and Pineapple Salad

Chicken and pineapple saladThis should ideally be named cleaned-out-my-fridge-salad. It consists of leftovers from my chilli basil chicken stir-fry and my sweet chilli pineapple sauce. I had some old broccoli, sweet corn and basil. Throw in an apple and lettuce, and you have a great lunch. That’s the great thing about leftovers, just a couple of tweaks and bring it all together with a dressing and you’ve recycled your pantry stock quite well.

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Roasted Beetroot and Tomato Soup

Beetroot soup

One of the best things about winter is food in bowls and snuggling up on the couch or in bed watching a movie or read a book. Soups are definitely on top of that list. This beetroot and tomato soup is so good you’ll never order in soup again. Just look at that colour. Ruby red beets roasted in the oven for an hour and pureed with cooked down tomatoes is the base of this sauce. Add some stock – veg or chicken, and you’re good to go.

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Chicken and roasted pumpkin salad


pumpkin salad

Some nights are salad night. As easy as salads look, they do take a while to bring all the ingredients together. Or maybe my salads do. It’s probably because I don’t like all raw vegetables and a salad dressing for a meal. I prefer cooked vegetables with some meat along with greens. This time I roasted pumpkin (originally for a soup but I changed my mind) and some boneless chicken, tossed them on some greens and crumbled some feta on it. Now that’s the kind of salad that works for me. For dressing, it was a balsamic, mustard and honey.

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Chicken salad with a balsamic honey dressing

chicken salad

If I’m going to have a salad, it better fill me up and be delicious at the same time. I’ve made a few salads before and they’ve all turned out great. This one was pretty good too. I’ve got salad greens, chicken roasted with mustard, roasted cherry tomatoes and baby potatoes among other things. I know people say salads are basically throwing a few veggies and meat together with dressing. Well, you can do that but I certainly can’t. I like roasted vegetables and meat in my salads. If it takes time, so be it. I’ll sure make it worth every minute. In this one the roasting of the tomatoes and potatoes takes a while. You can cook the bite sized chicken pieces on a pan quickly though. My favourite part of this salad is the dressing, actually. I absolutely love balsamic vinegar (the good kind) and honey together with some mustard and paprika.

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Roasted beet, pear and paneer salad

beetroot salad

This beetroot salad is yet another ‘makeover for leftovers’ meal. Leftovers are paneer from the night before and the other ingredients like beetroot had to be used before it went bad. I added a pear to it and made a quick dressing to go with the salad. I like beets roasted or cooked. The only way I can have them raw is when they’re in a juice. Coming back to this salad, I roasted beetroot slices in the oven for just 15 mins, sliced up a pear, crumbled paneer on top and drenched it all with the dressing. Easy peasy!

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Hot and sweet curry noodle bowl

noodle bowl

This hot and sweet curry noodle bowl is the result of yet another “makeover for leftovers”. Leftovers are great to work with because most of the work has already been done. In this case, I already had cooked chicken and the chilli honey paste in my fridge. All I had to do was cook some noodles (which takes just about 5-7 mins), make a curry style broth and assemble it all together.

This one turned out to be a lot more delicious than it looks, trust me. It truly validates my faith in simple cooking. And don’t worry about what you have or don’t have. If you don’t have noodles, make this with rice. If you don’t have chicken use leftover cooked veggies or even just a potato will do.

Yield: 2 servings

Prep + cooking time: 15-20 mins


Leftover cooked chicken (or meat or veggies) – 1 cup shredded

Cooked noodles – enough for 2 portions (I had Ching’s hakka noodles in the pantry and used one packet of it)

Garlic – 3-4 cloves crushed

Chilli honey paste – 1 tbsp or more (recipe here)

Any herbs like basil or lemongrass – handful crushed/torn

Chicken/veggie stock cube – 1 (omit it if you don’t have it or don’t like it, but it adds a lot of flavour to the broth)

Oil – 1 tsp

Coriander leaves – handful chopped

Fried egg – 1 for each bowl

Water – 3 cups


Heat oil in a pan and add garlic with the chilli honey paste and cook till it turns aromatic.

Add chicken and saute for a minute. Now add water along with the stock cube, herbs, some salt and let it come to a simmer.

Turn of the heat and keep it aside.

Place noodles in the bowl and pour the broth over. Top with fried egg and lots of coriander leaves.


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Chickpea and foxtail millet salad

foxtail millet salad

Most people want the food they cooked to be polished off that very meal. But I love it when that doesn’t happen so I have leftovers to work with. Like when I made the chicken and chickpea stew with foxtail millet. The leftovers – chickpeas and foxtail millet – were turned into a bowl of salad for dinner the next night. I also threw in some cherry tomatoes, basil, coriander and even shredded coconut. With a quick dressing with balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon and mustard, dinner was ready in minutes.


1 bowl of salad


10 mins at leisure


Cooked chickpeas – 1 cup

Cooked foxtail millet – 1/2 cup

Shredded coconut – 1/4 cup

Basil, coriander leaves – handful chopped

Cherry tomatoes – 4-5 halved

Cucumber – 1/2 cup chopped


Balsamic vinegar – 2 tbsp

Honey – 1 tsp

Lemon juice – 1/2 lemon

Mustard paste/sauce – 1 tsp


Whisk all the ingredients of the dressing and keep aside.

Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl and pour dressing over it.


Tweak this any way you want. The idea is to use up leftovers along with any scraps from the fridge to make a meal. You could replace the millet with brown rice or any other cooked grains. Or even omit it. You can also add cooked chicken to this salad, and more greens if you have.

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Peas and spinach soup with herbs and coconut milk

A green vegetable soup might not be as appealing as most others, but trust me this is good. If my husband and friend who are absolute meat lovers lapped this up in no time, you know it’s got to be good. This is basically putting a pot of water to boil and throwing in peas, spinach, chilli, garlic (lots of it!), ginger and herbs. Later laced with a dash of coconut milk to lighten it up. It’s quick to make and from the looks of it, very healthy.

spinach soup

Yield: 2 cupfuls

Prep + cooking time: 15 mins


Green peas (frozen) – 1 cup

Spinach – two handfuls (really hard to give exact measurements here)

Green chilli – 1

Garlic – 4-5 cloves

Ginger – 1/2 inch piece

Herbs like coriander, basil, thyme or anything you may have – as much or as less as you like them

Coconut milk – 1/4 cup

Water – 2 cups give or take

Salt to taste


Bring the water to a boil and throw in all the ingredients.

Let it simmer for 7-8 mins.

Drain and keep the water.

Blitz it into a puree.

Put it back on the heat adding the saved water along with the coconut milk.

Do a taste check at this point and adjust salt if you have to.

Serve hot!

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Roasted pumpkin and coconut soup with basil

I’ve grown up hating pumpkin. I’d find it in sambar and other curries at home. And I absolutely hated it. But thanks to people like Nigella Lawson, her TV show and the internet, I’ve learnt to let go of that hate and embrace the vegetable (technically, a fruit). The first time I tried a pumpkin soup and had my mind blown into a million pieces was at Graze, Taj Vivanta in Bangalore. It was a Zomato foodie meet up event and we were served a multiple course meal. I still remember this little cup of golden silky smooth soup with candied ginger. One first sip and I was sold. Since the chef did talk us through the dishes, I made mental notes when the pumpkin soup was talked about. I knew I had to make this at home. I did. It took me a few tries to get it to taste really good. It is a very simple recipe. Tweak it as you please – change the herbs, add spices, anything! Here’s my slow roasted pumpkin soup.

roasted pumpkin soup


Yellow pumpkin – 1/2 kilo cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Coconut milk – 1/2 cup (or more)

Basil leaves – a few

Olive oil – to drizzle over the pumpkin

Salt and pepper – to season


Preheat your oven at 200C for 15 mins.

Place pumpkin cubes on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and tear up a few basil leaves over it. I don’t put salt right now because I think it could take the moisture out of the pumpkin and I want it nice and soft with a light caramelization.

Cook in the oven at 180C for 40 mins. It seems long, but I quite like it cooked through and soft.

Let it cool before blitzing it in a blender till smooth.

Now let it simmer in a pan over medium heat. Add coconut milk and a splash of water (1/4 cup) and let it simmer some more. Add fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper to taste.

Take the roasted pumpkin soup off the heat and serve.

I garnished one bowl with just coconut milk and the other with fried onions and toasted coconut.

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