Looking to learn how to make the the best homemade Vegetarian Paneer Soup recipe?
Our quick & easy Indian Paneer Soup is a perfect dinner idea for a cold day. It takes just under 30 minutes to make!
This comforting creamy Paneer Soup recipe features flavourful ingredients like garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, curry leaf and coconut.
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What Is Soup?
Soup is a liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but can also be served cold like gazpacho), that is prepared by combining meat or vegetables with stock or water.
Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavours are extracted, creating a rich broth.
Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Soups generally have more liquid (broth) than chunkier and heartier stews.
In traditional French cuisine, soups are classified into two groups: clear soups (bouillon and consomme) and thick soups (purees, bisques, veloutes).
Purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter, and cream.
History of Soup
Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers, such as clay pots. To boil the water hot rocks were used.
The word soup comes from French soupe (broth), which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa (“bread soaked in broth”) from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word “sop”, a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.
The word restaurant (meaning “restoring”) was first used in France in the 16th century, to refer to a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors, that was advertised as a cure to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in such soups. This prompted the use of the modern word restaurant for eating establishments.
In America, the first colonial cookbook was published by William Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1742, based on Eliza Smith’s The Compleat Housewife; or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion, and it included several recipes for soups and bisques.
English cooking dominated early colonial cooking; but as new immigrants arrived from other countries, other national soups gained popularity. In particular, German immigrants living in Pennsylvania were famous for their potato soups. In 1794, Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat dis Julien, a refugee from the French Revolution, opened an eating establishment in Massachusetts called The Restorator, and became known as the “Prince of Soups”.
What Is Paneer Soup?
Paneer is a fresh cheese common in the Indian subcontinent. It is an unaged, non-melting soft cheese made by curdling milk with a fruit- or vegetable-derived acid, such as lemon juice. Its acid-set form before pressing is called chhena.
If you’re vegetarian or looking for new ways to add healthy protein to your diet, paneer offers a tasty addition to Indian soups.
Our creamy Paneer Soup is flavoured with coconut milk, garlic, ginger, mustard seed and curry leaf. Garnish with your favourite herbs like cilantro or basil.
Travel to India by Cooking Paneer Soup at Home
After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout Asia for 6 months, visiting the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, The Maldives, India and Malaysia.
If you’re planning an Indian travel adventure, you’ll likely have the opportunity to sample a variety of regional Paneer Soup recipes. Once you return home from your trip, share your experience with family and friends by cooking our healthy Paneer Soup recipe at home.
Where To Eat Vegetarian Paneer Soup
Haven’t traveled to Indian before? It may be helpful to first sample Paneer Soup at a local restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can assess the paneer to broth ratio, take notes on the perfect garnishes and determine the ideal spicy heat level before trying to make it at home.
My Family Loves Coconut Paneer Soup
My dad would often make cream of tomato soup and serve a bowl with grilled cheese sandwiches and pickles. Our family also loved slurping through bowls of Butternut Squash Soup, French Onion Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup.
During October in Ontario we’d often visit popular Fall Fairs in Norfolk County, Niagara and Prince Edward County to go on fun rides, run through corn mazes and purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables at the peak of harvest season.
Garlic, ginger, mushrooms, cabbage, cilantro and chili are available in abundance year round in Canada but we especially love to serve this healthy soup during the chilly winter season.
The best Paneer Soup recipe is full of healthy ingredients. This quick and easy Vegetarian Paneer Soup is a great way to incorporate nutritious ingredients into your diet during the colder months of the year.
Paneer Soup Ingredient Health Benefits
Our Paneer Soup recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Ginger contains at least 14 phytochemricals, many of which have impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a good source of copper, which supports your bones, blood and nervous system.
An excellent source of vitamins K and C, cabbage helps keep your bones, blood, and immune system healthy.
Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. The combination helps protect heart health.
A good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K, cilantro is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage by free radicals.
Homemade Panner Soup Recipe Tips
This healthy Paneer Soup recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time soup makers!
- Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim to reduce splatter when cooking.
- We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula spoon when making soup so you can easily stir, scrape down the side of the pot and sip to check if it needs to be seasoned further with more salt before spooning into bowls.
- Visit an Asian grocer or Indian Supermarket to purchase ingredients like curry leaf, mustard seeds and paneer.
- If you like to make all your food from scratch, why now make your own homemade paneer?
- If you’d like to make the recipe really spicy, feel free to add additional chili paste, chili sauce, sliced chili or hot sauce.
- We’ve used vegetable stock in this recipe but you could substitute with mushroom broth for additional savoury umami flavour.
- Transform vegetarian Paneer Soup into a meat lovers meal by substituting chicken or beef stock for vegetable stock and topping the soup with shredded chicken breast, sliced barbecue pork or succulent beef.
What To Serve with Creamy Paneer Soup
If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve our easy Paneer Soup recipe as an appetizer before serving heartier mains.
We love enjoying Paneer Soup with Indian Onion Salad, Osaka Okonomayaki, Calgary Ginger Beef, Green Onion Cake, Indian Crepes, Vietnamese Crepe Bánh Xèo, Bun Cha, Pork & Beef Mince Curry Khua Kling, Chiang Mai Noodles Khao Soi, Pad Kra Pao Thai Basil Stir-Fry and Laos Papaya Salad Tum Mak Hoong.
After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe, Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers, Rhubarb Strawberry Dutch Baby or Jordgubbstårta Swedish Strawberry Cake.
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Storing Paneer Soup
If you have leftover Vegetarian Paneer Soup you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. To reheat simply zap it in the microwave or simmer in a small saucepan on the stove.
We love doubling our soup recipes so can store leftovers in the freezer and save time on cooking in the kitchen. We suggest storing leftover soup in Pyrex freezer safe containers that have a snug lid so there’s not spilling.
Be sure to let your soup reach room temperature before storing it in the freezer. If you add a hot jar of soup to a cold freezer it will significantly reduce the interior temperature and potentially spoil your food.
How To Make Creamy Paneer Soup
Creamy Vegetarian Indian Paneer Soup
- 2 tsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 12 Curry Leaves
- 2 tsp Ginger minced
- 2 tsp Garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
- 400 g Paneer cut into cubes
- 6 cups Vegetable Stock
- 2 cups Coconut Milk
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Cabbage chopped
- 1 cup Mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper sliced
- Cilantro, Basil, Chili garnish
- In a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat add oil and sizzle mustard seeds for 1 minute.
- When the seeds crackle and pop, add the curry leaves, minced ginger, garlic and garam masala and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the cubes of paneer and toss with a wooden spoon.
- Add vegetable stock, coconut milk, pepper and salt, mix well and add the chopped cabbage, sliced mushrooms and red bell pepper.
- Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve hot and garnish with cilantro, basil and sliced chili.
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