Exotic soups for iftar | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 14, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 14, 2019

Exotic soups for iftar

You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who does not appreciate a good soup. If you are thinking of a food for every mood, be it in sickness or in health, then you are thinking of good soup. From the staple chicken soup to the default order of Thai soup at any restaurant, there is just about something for everyone. And all their benefits make it the perfect food to add to your iftar platter. 



1½ kg beef, cut into small pieces

3 tbsp oil

3 cups finely cut mixed vegetables (potatoes, carrot)

1 tsp oyster sauce

1 tsp steak sauce

1 tsp soy sauce

3 cups beef stock

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In a gas stove, cook beef over medium heat in oil until no longer pink, and then drain. Add the water and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, carrot, oyster sauce, steak sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Soup is ready to be served hot.

Chicken Wonton Soup


1 cup chicken cut in small pieces

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp vinegar

1 tsp corn-starch

2 tsp chopped garlic and ginger

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp sesame oil

2/3 wonton wrappers


In a large bowl, mix the cut up chicken pieces, soy sauce, vinegar, corn-starch, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil until fully incorporated. Using your finger, wet the edges of wonton wrapper with water. Place half a tablespoon of chicken filling in the centre of the wonton wrapper. Bring all soup ingredients to a boil and serve hot.

Thai Red Curry Noodle Soup


1 tbsp olive oil

700g boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks

Salt, as required 

Black pepper, freshly grounded, to taste

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 onion, diced

3 tbsp red curry paste

1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

1 cup coconut milk and chicken stock

½ (8-ounce) package rice noodles

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tsp brown sugar

3 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice


Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes; set aside. Add garlic, bell pepper and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in red curry paste and ginger until fragrant, or about 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth and coconut milk, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in chicken. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced, or about 10 minutes. Stir in rice noodles, fish sauce and brown sugar until noodles are tender, or about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in green onions, lime juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Cream of Tomato Soup


¼ cup unsalted butter

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¼ cup tomato paste

2/3 tomatoes

1–2 tsp sugar

¼ cup (or more) heavy cream

Salt and freshly grounded black pepper


Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, and garlic. Cook until onion is completely soft and translucent, or about 10–12 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add tomato paste. Continue cooking, stirring often, until paste has begun to caramelise in spots, 5–6 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 8 cups water to pot. Increase heat to high; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until flavours meld and soup reduces to about 2 quarts (8 cups), or about 45–55 minutes. Remove soup from heat; let cool slightly. Discard thyme sprigs. Working in small batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pot. Stir in ¼ cup cream. Simmer soup until flavours meld, or about 10–15 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar. Add more cream, if desired, and serve.

Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed

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