Thursday, December 3, 2020

Veggie and Cornmeal Soup / Cornmeal Kanji Inspired By Giada De Laurentiis #IHCC Treat Yourself

This week is Treat Yourself at IHCC. Cookies, pies, and cakes need not be the dish that could be a treat. A comforting bowl of steaming soup or dal rice can be a treat during this cold weather. And during this depressing pandemic time too. I love desserts too. Apple pie is number one. But always love a bowl of soup. They are comforting for a lunch or a dinner. They nourish us and the pepper added gives us immunity to keep ourselves better in health. I would call a yummy soup bowl with spices and herbs as a perfect treat, especially during this pandemic.

This soup is inspired by Giada's Rustic vegetable and polenta soup (Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner: A cookbook.) I like the way she cooked in the shows. I have watched food network shows and loved the way she elegantly showed how to cook, keeping everything simple and straightforward. Though some of her recipes require longer time, this soup is very simple to do. 

Of course, I have tweaked it a bit to suit us. I changed the chicken stock to water (added more too), played around a little with the veggie quantities. I added dried parsley as I didn't have the fresh ones. Substituted the  instant polenta with cornmeal I had. We usually add cilantro, adding parsley in place of that gave the Italian touch. I added a slit serrano pepper to give a little heat. Omitted the thyme as I didn't have any. Also, omitted the butter at the final stage before serving. This is very much similar to semolina kanji (or congee). We call it as kanji and we could make with leftover rice or broken rice. Something that gives more comfort and happiness is always the perfect treat, so this veggie soup / cornmeal kanji is the perfect treat for Treat Yourself at #IHCC.


Onion - 1 cup, diced
Carrots - 1 cup, diced
Tomatoes - 1 cup, diced
Zucchini - 1 cup, diced
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Black pepper powder - 3/4 tsp
Serrano pepper - 1, slit lengthwise
Garlic - 2 or 3, chopped fine.
Water - 5 cups
Dried parsley - 1.5 tsp


Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot. Add the inions, garlic, carrots, and the serrano. Sauté for 5-6 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, zucchini, and parsley. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. 

Slowly add the cornmeal, whisking to make sure it doesn't form any lumps. Let it cook for about 8-9 minutes. 

Switch off the flame. Ladle into bowls and serve.


It is important to whisk and add or else there will be big lumps and the soup won't be creamy with uniform texture.

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