SOUPS AND BROTHS

Thick, thin, hot, cold, sweet, spicy, savoury and seasonal, any which way, soup is my soul food and go to meal. Cooked vegetables are nourishing, warming and gentle on the digestion, as is bone broth – a tasty superfood promoting optimal gut health, aiding the absorption of vitamins.  I love the South American proverb “Good broth will resurrect the dead,” and believe me, a hot mug has sorted me out many a time!

 So for a hit of nourishment, cook up a soup with a homemade bone broth, plenty of fresh veggies and a whole lot of love – a powerful combination. Then just throw in some herbs or spices to season and keep your tastebuds entertained.

I recommend using my soup recipes as inspiration and run wild with them – use the spice mix from the mung dahl recipe to flavour whatever vegetables you have left in the fridge. Add miso and ginger from the miso carrot recipe to a huge bunch of kale to make the perfect green soup. Blend your leftover vegetables from your Sunday roast with some mexican spices and transform them. Any leftover cooked beans? Whizz them in for extra creaminess. Make a jar of the brazil nut cream or the garlic herb dressing from the winter minestrone and use it to top your soups – sprinkle over grated cheese, butter-fried onions or grated courgette and toasted pumpkin seeds

 Homemade soups offer a big dose of nourishments in every mouthful and are inexpensive food particularly if you use local, seasonal vegetables, which are always better value. A well cooked soup, packed with vegetables, removes much of the burden from your digestive system, allowing your body to direct its energy wherever its is needed most. Soup is a great way to enjoy a hot  meal on the go. It can be made in advance and eaten throughout the week. Cook large batches of soup at a time and you can  freeze and reheat brilliantly.

  Bone broth is full of flavour, very nourishing. Its made from  meat and fish bones and in my opinion is the secret to a great tasting soup. Try making a tasty bone broth or  red lentil, butternut squash and red pepper soup or try watercress and kale soup with Brazil nut cream.

  Here are  some combinations I  suggest(for more detailed recipes see soup and broth recipes).

Miso carrot –  I love the earthy deep flavour of miso. Choose a traditionally fermented miso for a real health food condiment. I like Clearspring brand – experiment with different varieties and add to anything you like for a  light umami taste.

Broccoli ginger white bean – featuring immune boosting ginger and a rich creamy texture thanks to blended beans – this soup is great way to use up the less popular broccoli stalks which are still packed with vitamin C.

Roasted squash and tomato –  roasting the squash and tomatoes intensifies their rich, sweet flavours . I use good quality canned tomatoes in the winter and plenty of rosemary, great for circulation a must for the cold winter months.

Winter minestrone – a filling, choc a block soup.  I love adding all sorts of veg to this minestrone, along with gluten-free buckwheat pasta spirals, borlotti beans and a kick of a garlic herb dressing to bring it to life.

Mung dahl – this dahl is my secret weapon for counteracting indulgences, giving me a boost any time  I am feeling less than my best. A good source of protein, mung beans are mellow but satisfying, making this lightly spiced, anti inflammatory soup a winner everytime.

Kelp pot noodle – my version of a pot noodle using kelp noodles – long strands of sea vegetable. No cooking required, just throw them in with leftover vegetables for a great texture. Add a spoonful of miso and lime, top with hot water and enjoy – the perfect work lunch!