So I've had a lovely time lately! Alastair and I had a great few days away in Northumberland, at a fabulous 5 star Gastro Pub, called The Joiners Arms! Its well worth a visit, the rooms are gorgeous and the food was delicious!
We were also blessed with lovely weather, blue skies and sunshine so we had lots of lovely beach walks and fresh air!
We have all managed to avoid coughs, colds and viruses this year and long may that continue! However we don't put our good health down to luck, we eat really well and include lots of immune boosting foods in our diet!
Which brings me to this totally awesome and delicious immune boosting broth, which supports health on every level.
Alastair came across the recipe by the brilliant Anna Jones in The Guardian and immediately wanted to make it! I'm really glad he did, it is the most delicious, nourishing and bright green thai broth I have ever eaten.
Do yourself a favour and make this, your body and your taste buds will thank you, as will anyone you share it with!
In this season of detoxing, the buzz is all about depriving yourself of comfort food, but this soup has it all, its nourishing, healing, restorative, immune boosting and it just tastes amazing!
This is comfort food you can truly eat without feeling guilty, bloated or sluggish!
Its packed with the most health giving ingredients including coconut oil, ginger, garlic, chillies, coriander, turmeric and spinach.
There are so many benefits to this soup and its also really filling due to the rice noodles and chunks of butternut squash.
Some recipes have lots of ingredients and are a bit complicated and faffy and the end result really isn't worth the bother but not this one! Massive thanks to the awesome Anna Jones for this recipe.
I have both of her books A Modern Way to Eat and A Modern Way to Cook
and highly recommend both of them. She just talks so much sense and her passion for great flavours shines through.
I would seriously give this soup 10 out of 10 so here is the recipe so you can try it for yourself! Please leave a comment if you do!
BEST EVER THAI BROTH
4 tablespoons coconut oil
a thumb of ginger (50g) peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves peeled
1 or 2 small green chillies
4 spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
a bunch of fresh coriander leaves and stalks
a few sprigs of mint
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
15 green peppercorns, fresh or brined
2 x 400ml tins of coconut milk
1 tablespoon vegetable stock powder or 1/2 stock cube
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
a stalk of lemongrass
1/2 butternut squash, peeled
handful of spinach or spring greens
100g brown rice noodles
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
I hope everyone had a lovely break over the holidays and are now back to normality!
Our normal is rather odd, I am pretty much under the radar when it comes to work, I suit myself and weeks go past when I just chill and enjoy life and I have to admit I rather enjoy this way of being! Alastair, my husband has been self employed for 20 years so doesn't have a set work routine either, he works overseas and does a lot of voluntary work so we have lots of time to spend together enjoying ourselves! Jenna my daughter is also at home at the moment and is an awesome vegan cook so we just generally try out lots of lovely recipes, spend time outdoors, go for walks and read lots of books!
Looking back over the last year I can't say I achieved a lot but I did start an Instagram account and have almost 500 followers so thats an achievement for me!
I have kept up with my blog and still really enjoy sharing recipes and I'm thinking of sharing more factual and health posts so I have a bit of thinking to do as to how to move forwards and do what I feel is my life purpose, which is to help people to live a healthier life!
I have joined the commitee of Slow Food Glasgow and I'll be involved with a new government initiative called Peas Please, which you may have guessed is to promote the eating of more vegetables, which is right up my street!
I ran various workshops for community groups and schools, which were very well received and will continue to spread the word this year on how important and how simple it is to eat real food, and give veggies the starring role!
So on that note, there are no sermons on New Year New You, from me, I will simply say that the most important advice I can give anyone is to eat more veggies and that is very much the focus of this blog!
I'll say that again, your No 1 resolution should simply be to
............EAT MORE VEGGIES.....!
Nothing will impact your health more than eating lots of seasonal veggies, add wholegrains, lentils, beans and pulses and you have the basis for the healthiest way to eat. Not to mention the massive and positive impact on the environment of reducing your consumption of meat and dairy and not contributing to animal suffering. So there are many reasons to make veggies the starring role on your plate!
Its veganuary and 50,000 people have signed up to go vegan for the whole month of January! The vegan movement is steadily growing and Glasgow is a great hub of vegan restaurants and businesses, which I am delighted about!
So back to eating more veggies! Soup is one of the easiest ways of sneaking more veggies into your diet and the possibilities are endless so I've decided to share a new soup recipe as my first post of 2017.
This one is based on a recipe by Dana Shcultz over at the minimalist baker. She writes an awesome blog with the most delicious vegan recipes.
So this soup has some of my favourite and most healthy ingredients, sweet potatoes, lentils, kale, garlic, ginger, turmeric and leeks.
The thing I love about soup is how versatile it is, its a great way of using up whatever veggies you have hanging out in the fridge. The addition of either lentils or beans adds loads of fibre and protein and will take your soup to another level of nourishment and filling power.
Using nature's superfoods garlic and turmeric will add flavour and loads of health benefits so you really end up with a pot of amazing nutrition and flavour. Oh I forgot to mention that soup is great for detoxing and its really easy to digest too so its a great food to include in your diet, especially after all the festive excesses!
We always have at least one pot of soup on the go athough it doesn't last long in our house!
There are loads of delicious and healthy soup recipes on my blog. Just click on the soup category for lots of ideas and please consider subscribing to the blog so you don't miss any posts. All the recipes I share are nutritious, plant based, seasonal and mostly really simple and suitable for everyone.
It doesn't cost anything to subscribe and it could just be the best decision you make, to start the year with access to loads of delicious, healthy, plant based recipes, for yourself and your family!
So a very happy and healthy New Year and remember to eat more veggies!
So here is the recipe for this amazing soup....enjoy!
CURRIED LENTIL, POTATO & KALE SOUP
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 leek or medium onion, washed and sliced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped or grated ginger
500g of potato and sweet potato (I used 2 of each), washed and diced
1 cup of green or puy lentils (200g) washed and rinsed
2 good handfuls of chopped kale, cavolo nero or dark green cabbage, finely shredded
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.5 litres veggie stock (I use Marigold Bouillon or Kallo Organic Stock cubes)
.....your health in your hands....
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! I'm so glad the weather has improved, we were all going stir crazy!
We're now on a mad cleaning and tidying spree before the new year but as always, food still takes centre stage at our house!
There are so many parsnips and brussel sprouts in the shops just now for next to nothing! I bought two bags of parsnips yesterday for 5p each!
I can't resist a bargain, especially a foodie bargain and I detest food waste so I had to buy some!
I thought I'd share this lovely recipe for parsnip soup, which is a great way to use them up!
We've been eating a lot of roast parsnips recently which we love but I have to admit I'm generally not a fan of parsnip soup. The classic parsnip and potato has a texture like wallpaper paste which I find most unappealing!
I came across this lovely recipe in The River Cottage Veg Everyday book by the lovely Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, which I adapted to make it vegan and I have to say it was rather delicious and not like wallpaper paste at all!
I am a big fan of adding lots of flavour to my dishes and am especially fond of ginger, garlic and turmeric, all great immune boosters at this time of year!
All of these superfoods are in this lovely soup, along with cayenne & cardamom, imparting a lovely warming, subtle flavour.
I topped it off with some toasted flaked almonds and a swirl of soya cream and I have to say it looked lovely and could happily grace a dinner table!
So if you have a few parsnips leftover from Christmas, please give this lovely soup a go, I'm sure you will enjoy it!
On a last note, I detest food waste and making soup is a fantastic way to use up leftover veggies, even ones which you think are past their best, they still have benefits for your health so please don't throw them away!
So here is the recipe....
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4-5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
500g parsnips, peeled and sliced
750 ml of vegetable stock
250 ml plant based milk, I used soya
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 or 3 tablespoons flaked almonds, lightly toasted
1 or 2 tablespoons of soya cream
.....your health in your hands....
It's been so cold recently but I'm loving the crisp, frosty days! I've had to bring Grace my wee chicken into the house since the temperature has been -7C the past two nights! I'd never forgive myself if she froze to death!! She has been happily eating porridge for breakfast with coconut oil, raisins, sweetcorn and sunflower seeds and washing it down with a good glug of kombucha, which she loves! She is a discerning chicken for sure!
Anyway I thought I'd share another of my favourite soup recipes, which is just the job for lunch on a freezing cold day! This one is adapted from a macrobiotic recipe, acquired during my studies to become a macrobiotic health coach, which I am, but I find the macrobiotic way too bland and restrictive for my liking, so I adapt the recipes to suit my taste!
So mung beans are very small dark green beans, mostly eaten as beansprouts here but they are also delicious cooked! Like all beans, mungbeans are packed with fibre, protein and minerals with major benefits for our health. They lend themselves very well to soup and make a pleasing change to the more common lentils, which most of us are familiar with.
I do think its wise to introduce new foods, most of us have a limited repertoire of recipes and sometimes get stuck in a boring food rut, which is where Nourished by Nature comes in!
I never cook or eat boring or bland food, life is too short for that, I embrace all the wonderful natural flavours and enjoy vibrant good health as a result!
Soup is one of the easiest things to make, and the varieties are endless! It's just such a brilliant way of sneaking more veggies and wholegrains into the diet.
One of my favourite things is a big bowl of steaming hot soup, served with a slice of home made sourdough bread!
The simple things are sometimes the best...
Most supermarkets and natural food stores stock mungbeans and they keep for ages.
So this soup is thick, nourishing, tomatoey, flavoursome and stick to your ribs delicious!
Here is my recipe
MIGHTY MUNGBEAN & TOMATO SOUP
1 cup of mungbeans (approx 200g)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 glug of rapeseed oil
1 onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1 stick of celery, chopped
1 leek, finely sliced
1 courgette, diced (optional)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 litre vegetable stock (Marigold or Kallo are good)
freshly ground black pepper
....your health in your hands......
Autumn is definitely here, I love autumn with all the beautiful colours and the chill in the air. There is something very comforting about snuggling up indoors with the heating on and enjoying a lovely warming, nourishing bowl of home made soup!
This one fits the bill perfectly!
The shops are full of pumpkins and squashes of all shapes and sizes, some of them delicious, some not so much! The large orange variety are really for carving and are rather watery and fibrous and not so good to eat.
Butternut squash and sweet potatoes are available all year round and always taste deliciously sweet and can easily be used interchangeably so this soup can be made with either butternut squash, sweet potato or any other type of squash.
The orange flesh of all these vegetables is really high in beta carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body and supports skin health, digestive health and vision. Sweet potato also contains prebiotic fibre which feeds our gut bacteria so its well worth including some of these orange fleshed veggies in your diet, if you haven't already!
I have been spiralising sweet potatoes all summer and ended up with a lot of wee end bits which I collected in a freezer bag, just perfect for making soup, so that's what I used for this!
I hate waste so I'm always looking for ways to use up odd bits of veggies.
I noticed pre-peeled cubes of butternut squash in the freezer section at Waitrose the other day which is a great idea if you don't have time to peel a whole one! It's obviously more expensive to buy pre prepared veggies but a great standby to have your freezer stocked with some essentials. I buy frozen peas and sweetcorn, which I use a lot!
So back to this lovely warming, nourishing soup with lots of flavour from garlic, ginger, red onion, coconut, turmeric and chilli flakes.
There are some real inflammation fighters and immune boosters among this lot so you will be doing yourself a big favour if you make this!
I also added peanut butter for an extra protein boost and splash of tamari for extra flavour.
I have to say it is delicious and very moreish. I think I'll be having a huge bowl of this tonight for dinner with a few slices of my rather delicious home made sourdough!
This is a great soup for autumn and winter due to all the immune boosting, cold and flu busting ingredients and it tastes delicious.
Like every other soup, it can be frozen to enjoy at a later date or kept for when your immune system needs a wee boost and you don't feel like cooking!
So here is the recipe.....
Thai Squash Soup
3 cups of butternut squash or 3 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and diced
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 tablespoon coconut or rapeseed oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 level teaspoon turmeric
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon tamari
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
750 mls vegetable stock
100g coconut cream or 1 can of coconut milk
1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the red onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, turmeric, ginger, diced sweet potato or squash and a good seasoning of salt and black pepper. Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes.
2. Add the coconut cream and stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until the sweet potato or squash is soft, around 15 minutes. If you are using coconut milk then reduce the stock to 500mls.
3. Add the peanut butter and tamari, stir to dissolve then blend with a hand blender.
....your health in your hands....
It's definitely soup weather so I thought I'd try a new recipe! I had some lovely organic potatoes to use up and I've been meaning to make a sweetcorn type soup for a while so I came up with this one!
As always I try to add extra ingredients with health benefits, in this case red onion, turmeric and coconut.
Red onion provides the gut with fibre and helps us fight infection, which at this time of year, can be rife and who has time to be ill? Certainly not me, which is why I support my immune system with the best quality food and look after my gut bacteria with lots of plant based fibre.
So back to the soup, I used frozen sweetcorn, which I buy from Lidl, its deliciously sweet and grown in France so it's not GM, which a lot of the corn grown in the US is, so we want to avoid that for sure!
I actually prefer using frozen sweetcorn, it's less wasteful and you just cook what you need.
Wee Gracie, my chicken loves sweetcorn, she has some every morning in her porridge and is very partial to a whole fresh corn on the cob, which she can demolish in no time!
Nutritionally sweetcorn like all veggies, has benefits for health. It's a good source of fibre and complex carbs and contains a fair amount of insoluble fibre which is great news for our gut bacteria! It also contains antioxidants, some B vitamins, Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium so plenty of reasons to eat and enjoy it!
It's also naturally sweet so most kids will eat it! Interestingly a whole corn on the cob contains less than a quarter of the sugar in an apple!
This soup has a lovely flavour with a wee bit of heat from the chilli flakes. Sweet paprika has a lovely warming flavour and the coconut adds a creamy sweetness which works rather well.
The turmeric which I try to add to as many dishes as I can has a mild earthy flavour so I generally only use a half or a teaspoon. Adding black pepper and oil enhances the absorption of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric so its always worth adding both.
Turmeric really deserves the title, superfood, or superspice! It beats drugs hands down for just about everything, from pain relief to reducing inflammation to killing cancer cells.
It's so easy to start adding some of these immune boosting, disease fighting foods and spices to our diet to build a great immunity and strong vibrant health.
I added turmeric to my porridge this morning with a pinch of black pepper and a spoonful of coconut oil! It was a lovely yellow colour and I added sliced banana, goji berries, coconut flakes, bee pollen and coconut kefir for a breakfast fit for a king!!
So I've had a double dose of turmeric today since I just had a bowl of this lovely soup!
I had to try it before I share the recipe but it was really delicious. I think I would make it a bit thicker next time by adding more potato or less stock. I blended half the soup which made it nice and creamy and there were still some texture from the unblended veggies!
So all in all a good recipe and a great use of my organic potatoes!
Here is my recipe!
· 2 or 3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced (around 500g)
· 2 cups of fresh or frozen sweetcorn (300g)
· 50g of creamed coconut, roughly chopped
· 1 tablespoon coconut oil or rapeseed oil
· Small red or green pepper, chopped
· 1 medium red onion, diced small
· 2 teaspoons paprika
· ½ teaspoon turmeric
· ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 1litre vegetable stock
1. Heat the oil and add the red onion and pepper. Cook on a moderate heat for 5 minutes.
2. Add the turmeric, paprika and black pepper.
3. Add the diced potato, vegetable stock and coconut cream, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Add the sweetcorn and cook for a further 5 minutes.
5. Blend half with a hand blender to keep a bit of texture or just blend it all for a creamier smoother texture.
The creamed coconut comes in a block, most supermarkets stock it. If you are using coconut milk then you will need a bit less stock, around 500ml should do!
....your health in your hands....
I've decided to share this lovely summer soup recipe with you all. I'm a massive fan of seasonal eating and courgettes are in season right now, along with lots of other wonderful summer produce!
I love soup and always tend to have a pot on the go, even in summer, although I do tend to keep it in the fridge to keep it fresh. One of my pet hates is waste and having to throw soup away because its gone off!
A wee tip, its actually onions that are to blame, since they absorb bacteria which makes them very good for us but once cut, they absorb bacteria from the environment. Never leave a half cut onion in your fridge. Just buy smaller onions and use the whole thing!
Onions were used during the plague to prevent spread of disease and households used to leave cut onions in every room. Apparently it worked
Remember you can also freeze any soup so that avoids the going off problem!
Anyway back to this rather lovely summer soup. I got the original recipe from an old Marks & Spencer cookbook about 20 years ago and it's one I still use.
If you grow your own courgettes, which I do, then this is a great way to use them up! However I'm buying them at the moment since mine aren't ready yet!
I've been spiralising lots of courgettes recently too, courgetti is just a genious replacement for carb heavy, white pasta and its delicious and so healthy!
Try and select darkest green, firmest courgettes and the smaller ones tend to be sweeter. I sometimes find that the bigger courgettes can be quite watery and bitter, not what you want for your lovely soup!
So among the healthy ingredients of this soup is turmeric which is beating drugs for just about everything in numerous trials! It has so many health benefits and is well worth including in your diet. Point to note that the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin is absorbed way better in the presence of piperidine, found in black pepper and further enhanced by oil so any recipe using turmeric should include black pepper and oil for maximum benefit!
So without further rambling, here is the recipe!
COURGETTE & TOMATO SOUP
2 or 3 small to medium courgettes, finely sliced
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 tin of tomatoes or 400g of fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
1 tablespoon organic white flour
1 level teaspoon turmeric powder
750 ml good quality vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the finely sliced onion and courgettes. Turn the heat to low, put the lid on and sweat the vegetables for around 5 to 10 minutes with a pinch of sea salt.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, turmeric and the tablespoon of flour and give it a good mix with a wooden spoon to disperse the flour evenly and get rid of any lumps.
3. Add the hot stock, give it all a good stir then
put the lid on and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
4. Puree with a hand blender until smooth
5. Add a good grinding of black pepper and some sea salt to taste.
Some grated parmesan is also lovely!
.....your health in your hands....
Now it seems a bit out of season to be posting an immune boosting soup when its supposed to be spring but hey its been really cold in Glasgow and poor Laura has swollen glands and a stinker of a cold. Sometimes the change in temperature, returning from sunny holidays to the cold of Glasgow can take a bit of adjusting to!
Laura also has exams all week so she's a bit stressed too, which doesn't help. So I've been making her apple kuzu drinks ( a macrobiotic drink which is very strengthening and soothing), giving her ginger compresses, to speed the healing process and I specially made a big pot of the most healing soup on the planet, and its also rather delicious.
The best kind of medicine!!
This soup is crammed full of all sorts of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and vitamins, it will literally stop any infection in its tracks. It’s absolutely brilliant for relieving the symptoms of colds and flu, will put your immune system into super-drive and send all those “nasties” into oblivion; it also tastes great and is really easy to make.
Both shitake mushrooms and goji berries contain a similar polysaccharide which stimulate the immune system by causing an increase in the production of white blood cells.
Garlic is the mother of all natural antivirals; it is also antibacterial and antifungal.
Ginger is a strong anti-inflammatory and also stimulates circulation which increases the rate at which white blood cells move around the body fighting infection and removing waste products from infected tissues.
Chilli has painkilling properties and can thin out mucous making it easier to remove from the body.
Sweet potatoes contain various anti-inflammatory compounds including beta carotene/flavanoids.
Turmeric is an incredible anti-inflammatory agent due to a group of chemicals called curcuminoids - as good as many powerful drugs, including hydrocortisone, but with none of the nasty side effects.
Coconut milk is full of good fats which are antifungal, antibacterial & antiviral.
So you really can't fail to feel better if you fill yourself up with this most soothing, healing, nutritious soup. Your immune system will thank you!
· 1 red onion, chopped
· 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
· 3 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small dice
· 1 red or green chilli, finely chopped
· 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
· 1 punnet shitake mushrooms or 2-3 dried shitakes soaked in hot water for 30minutes
· 1 handful of goji berries
· 500ml vegetable stock
· 1 can coconut milk
· 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
· 1 level teaspoon turmeric
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to season
1. Add the finely chopped onion, ginger and chilli to a pan with a tablespoon of oil and sauté for a few minutes until the onion softens.
2. Slice the shitake mushrooms. If using dried, discard the stalks which are tough and bitter.
3. Add the mushrooms, diced sweet potato, goji berries, garlic, turmeric, coconut milk and stock.
4. Bring to the boil, and then gently simmer for about 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft.
5. Puree with a hand blender, season with sea salt and enjoy!
I'm happy to report that Laura is feeling much better now!
.......your health in your hands.....
.I've just returned from the most fabulous Vegan Cooking Retreat in North Wales , run by the awesome Lee Watson and his lovely partner Jane. Lee's sister Laura was also there teaching us meditation and yoga so it was a real family affair and we all felt so welcomed and included, like a big happy healthy vegan family!
It was such a joyful experience, punctuated at very frequent intervals with the most amazing vegan food! I've never eaten so much in my life, and believe me I have a big appetite for healthy food!
Lee's food is full of big bold flavours which just work so I have returned determined to be more bold with flavours myself.
Admittedly I'm not a fan of chilli, mustard or cheesy flavours ( in vegan circles achieved with nutritional yeast flakes, a very good source of B vitamins) but I guess we all have different preferences, likes and dislikes so I'm going to taste my food more and adjust flavours accordingly. I always think its best to start off with less and add more if needed rather than just pile in huge amounts at the start.
We had so much fantastic food from all corners of the world that its difficult to narrow it down and select one recipe to share first. I've decided to share this delicious Turkish lentil soup flavoured with cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and mint. Its so thick and nutritious and full of flavour and its really easy to make. Its really like a complete meal in a bowl.
So since I'm off to Krakow early tomorrow morning with my brother and won't be posting any recipes for the rest of the week, this was the easiest option to post.
I have no idea what kind of food we'll find in Krakow but I know it won't be anywhere near as good as the food from the retreat!
I've said it before and I'll say it again, go and buy a copy of Peace and Parsnips, its my favourite vegan cookbook and its just full of fantastic recipes. Even if you are not vegan you can most definitely improve your health by cutting down on animal products and dairy and incorporating loads more veggies and wholegrains. Also check out the beachhousekitchen blog for inspiration and loads of recipe ideas.
I have two extra copies of the book so I'm going to run a wee competition so two lucky people can win a copy!
Watch this space......!
We had freshly baked bread every day which was a delight and I have a few new recipes to share on my return from Krakow.
We also sampled some delicious cakes, muffins and cookies which although maybe not quite so healthy, were all delicious.
So I'm just off to pack my bag so here is the recipe!
CORBA - TURKISH RED LENTIL SOUP Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely sliced
225g red lentils, rinsed
2 large carrots, finely diced
125g quinoa (gluten free option) or Bulghur Wheat
4 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried mint
1.5 litre boiling water or veggie stock
1. Warm the oil in a pan on medium high heat, add the cumin seeds, followed by the onions, 1 tsp sea salt and carrots and fry for 8 to 10 minutes until the onions are nicely golden.
2. Stir in the paprika, lentils, and quinoa/bulghur, add the tomato paste, veg stock and cayenne pepper.
3. Cover and simmer gently for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Check seasoning and add the dried mint.
5. This makes a really thick soup so thin it down a bit with water if you prefer a thinner consistency.
6. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and lemon wedges.
NB If using quinoa, rinse it well under running water in a sieve before you add it, to remove the saponins which can taste bitter.
I've enjoyed the last few days of sunshine and blue skies, long overdue! SAD syndrome really is a thing and I think affects all of us to a certain degree. Anyway I've been out and about enjoying some exercise and fresh air and I feel the better for it, though I think my Vitamin D levels still need a wee week of proper sunshine to return to optimum levels! I'm working on that with hopefully a sunshine break at Easter!!
There is nothing nicer than a big bowl of warming, nourishing soup after a long walk and this is one of the most filling and delicious soups in my repertoire, and a big family favourite on a cold day!
I adapted this recipe from Italian minestrone so it has the same base flavours of tomato, onion and garlic. I decided to replace the white pasta with much healthier brown rice which makes the soup gluten free and the addition of some beans adds fibre, protein and minerals and really makes this a complete meal in a bowl!
You can add whatever veggies you have to ring the changes but peppers, green beans, carrots, leeks, courgettes, frozen peas and finely shredded greens of some sort all work really well and add loads of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, strengthening literally every body system.
So without further ado, here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it....!
ITALIAN RICE AND BEAN SOUP
......your health in your hands....
A healthy lifestyle blog with green living tips, plant-based recipes and natural health magic.