Carrots, leek and zucchini soup

Me: “H, do you know where your pink jacket is?”
Jr.H: “I gave it you to store it somewhere till the next Winter.” We try to flaunt our winter wear as much as possible in that one week of chill that December provides and then store them neatly till the next year.  Officially we do not have Winters.
Jr.H: “What are you going to photograph?” (The girl knows me through and through!)
Me (a tad sheepish but coaxingly): “I just made a soup for daddy and I thought it would look so good if you held it.  You know how nice your hands look when you hold stuff.”
Jr.H (with false anger): “I knew you would want something like that!” A pause and she says, “Can I wear some other sweater?”

Then I go around looking for my husband, P.

Me: “Where did you keep that grey sweater?”
P: “Must be somewhere.”
Me: “That is all you care.  Do you know that it is my mummy who hand-knitted that one for you specially?” (emphasis on ‘my’)

I set up the soup on my wooden platform and take pictures.

P has a very irritated look and an argument ensues because of my emphasis on ‘mummy’.  At the end of it he searches and hands over the sweater.  I am not completely satisfied with my pictures on the board so the sweater finally makes me happy. I show it to H and she looks thrilled when she sees the pattern and the length.  “It is so loose, I think it will look nice on my tights.  It even comes up to my knee! I will wear when we go out sometime.”

Trust her to think of a fashion statement at this juncture!  I allow her to kid herself so that she would wear the sweater and hold the soup.  I always wanted to take a picture of this kind.  Wool gives the feeling of Winter and conveys the warmth of the soup.  I just allowed the sleeves to cover her knuckles so that we could emphasize that it was cold.  Actually, it isn’t cold.  It is damp all the time and a little chilly sometimes during the Rainy Season but far from cold.

Mr. P had a bout of cold during the weekend accompanied by cough, and all I administered was lots of pepper infused ‘molagu rasam‘ and this soup.  The soup is decided by the vegetables available in the crisper.  That day I had a leek that needed to be used up, and half a zucchini.  My husband for some strange reason has stocked up carrots as if there is going to be a famine, so we had lots of them that needed to go somewhere.  Predictably, in stock or soup.

Recipe: Carrots, leek and zucchini soup
Yield: 3 bowlfuls (Mine was a little thicker than usual soups)


Vegan soup stock – 2 cups

Carrots, scrubbed and diced into medium-sized chunks – 2 cups
Zucchini, washed and cut into thick roundels – 1 cup
Leeks, only green portion chopped – 1/2 cup (Use the tough portion in making the next batch of soup stock)
(Check here for preparation of leeks)
Tahini – 1 tbsp.
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil – 1 tbsp.
Chilly olive oil – 1 tsp. (Dried chilli flakes stored in olive oil)


Thaw frozen stock before chopping vegetables.

Warm a wok.  Heat the oil, saute the leeks.  When they turn soft, add the carrots, and a dash of salt.  Toss well, cover and cook, stirring occasionally.   When half cooked, add zucchini.  After sauteing for a minute, add the stock.  If stock is less, add equal amount of water.

Bring to a boil and allow vegetables to simmer on slow fire till the carrot turns very soft.

Remove from fire and let cool completely.

Puree the vegetables using a blender (do this only after cooling completely) and pour back into your soup bowl.  Halfway through blending also add the tahini paste, scrape the sides and blend again, so that the tahini is distributed uniformly.

Dilute as per your taste and adjust salt and pepper levels.   We had this quite thick..  Warm the soup to comfortable serving temperature.  Serve with chilly olive oil drizzled on top with crackers or bread.  By itself too it is quite a hearty soup.

As she wears the sweater, Jr.H asks, “Is there some contest or what?”
Me: “Why?”
She: “I know you wouldn’t ask me to do all this unnecessarily!”

And she was right.  I did this for the Dario’s contest.  It apparently did not fit the theme so I sent another hurried picture, but I must accept that the girl really knows me!

For her part, she looked into the mirror, preened a bit, added a matching printed scarf, wore a hat and completed the effect.  She knows I only click her hands, but being the indulgent mom that I am, I could not let the effort go waste.

We carry two bowlfuls to the terrace. The children in the other buildings try to have a look. They peer at us. An amused worker on the next terrace comes and picks up a brush as an excuse to see what’s going on. H (who says she is not Jr. anymore) tries out the white bowl of soup with the sweater. “Is it good?” I click and she looks up.

“Not very. Hold the wooden bowl.” It looks good! “Ok! Hold!” I say. A moment later she licks and I click.
She knows she will have to eat that bowlful, but she knows that food with a hand in action will look fingerlickin’ good.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • Daisy Gilham-Hills

    When do you add the tahini? Mid making and wa going to add when cold and about to blend 🙂

    • Harini

      I missed that! You need to add it midway while blending the vegetables. Further blending distributes it uniformly through the soup. Thank you for bringing it to my notice. I will make the corrections. 🙂

  • anu

    My first time here…

    love your photography….and your recipes too…..

  • Susmitha - Veganosaurus

    Hey your soup inspired me to make a leek based soup today. YUM! This was the first time I cooked with leeks. I can tell you it will definitely not be the last. Thanks. 🙂

    • Harini

      Wow! Susmitha, your words made my day! I am so glad you enjoyed the taste of leeks.:)

  • Trudy ~ Veggie num num

    Beautiful soup, love the addition of tahini, sounds delicious!! Can not wait to try this!

  • Richa

    Love the colors and the shots! perfect!
    Congrats on your new tat!

  • Harini

    Thanks everyone.:) Kathy, I just did.

  • kathy

    yum! I hope you will submit to 🙂

  • kankana

    Love the way you started the post .. i was smiling all the time, almost visualizing.. and lol on ‘ my mummy’ statement. I do that too!!
    The soup looks so creamy and comforting.. and that idea of holding the soup .. classic:)

  • Charissa

    Aw, I love photo stories! That’s so sweet!

    Beautiful pics and the recipe looks ammaaazing!

  • Swati Sapna

    Totally loved reading this post 🙂 am still smiling 🙂 its so good to see all the effort you have put into these pictures! and the soup of course looks tempting! I must say the sweater did the trick… i already feel warm and am craving for a hot soup now thanks to the rainy weather outside!

  • Manju

    haha! loved that conversation! 🙂 and awesome pics as always!

  • neha

    Lovely writeup n lovely soup..

  • Susmitha - Veganosaurus

    ROFLOL LOVE the sweater back story! 😀 You could’ve fooled me into thinking you were in Simla or something. 🙂

    • Harini

      We fooled ourselves into thinking we were.:D I miss the North Indian Winters!

  • Sharmilee

    Lovely clicks….soup looks soothing and beautiful 🙂

  • Divya Vikram

    Loved all the photos. Lovely color! And the soup looks comforting.

  • Simone

    O wow… how come I never visited your blog?? Weird really… Love the story and love love those photos! Gorgeous and she does indeed have gorgeous hands. That sweater sure does the trick for me. I feel winter when I look at them and that soup looks great too!

    • Harini

      Hey Simone, you have visited me earlier when I was still on blogspot. Thank you! Welcome to the new home.:)

  • Nishi

    What a delicious looking soup harini!!! I loved the photographs. JrH’s hands really does lookd good holding that bowl of soup 🙂

  • prathibha

    Such a delicious looking soup Harini…just now had a bowl of Oriental Tomato soup(ready-mix) and I must say it was atrocious…absolutely loving pics…

  • Notyet100

    Luv the clicks nd the write up too,..

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