Soups are the most basic food and are prepared and eaten all over the world for their well known health benefits. From our own nourishing potato and leek to healing Miso from Japan to French onion and big hearty bean and pasta soups from Italy, every country has their favourite. Many recipes are handed down and closely guarded but I'm prepared to share mine so you can all benefit from the many wonderful qualities good soup brings to your life!
Soups are one of the easiest ways of getting more nutrients into your diet and vegetables are where its at in terms of health benefits! The more you eat, the more benefits you get. Every colour has different antioxidants and phyto-chemicals so mix it up and eat a rainbow of colours for maximum health benefits. The addition of lentils or beans adds another dimension with fibre, protein, B vitamins and minerals supporting literally every system in your body. Soups are also easy to digest, warming, nourishing and simple to make.
Puréed soups are great for fussy kids, or adults, for that matter and can taste deliciously creamy and disguise a multitude of vegetables! Home made soups bear no comparison to shop bought, even the so called upmarket brands bear no resemblance to the ingredients they are made with and often the only flavour you can taste is salt, which is neither good for our health or our taste buds. Its always best to make your own then you know exactly what you are eating.
The key to a good soup is to start with good quality ingredients and stock. Don’t worry I’m not going to suggest boiling up lots of vegetables and herbs to make your own, I use Marigold Bouillon powder or Kallo organic vegetable stock cubes both of which have a lovely flavour. Always buy the best quality vegetables and that's locally grown and organic. I have a weekly veg box delivered from Locavore full of gloriously dirty, just pulled from the ground seasonal vegetables! I actually really enjoy scrubbing them all in the sink and getting my hands dirty, good honest dirt never hurt anyone and actually boosts our immune system! No comparison to supermarket bought, tasteless, chemically cleaned wrapped in plastic with pesticide residues for good measure. I'm all with Jamie Oliver in his promotion of ugly, misshaped fruit and vegetables grown locally and organically. Looks can be deceiving!! Often the most perfect looking will harbour a not so lovely inside, the same can be said of humans! So don't walk past the gnarled dirty organic produce, buy it and be pleasantly surprised by the superior flavour and nutritional profile.
I have started my blog with my three simplest but most colourful soup recipes, whether you try the detoxifying, immune boosting purple beetroot and coconut, the healing, calming green and bean or the energy boosting lentil and turmeric, know that you have started the process to a healthier 2015 and make soups a regular part of your diet.
So get your apron on, get into your kitchen and try out these incredibly simple, nutritious and delicious soups!
Brilliant Beetroot & Coconut Soup Recipe
This soup couldn't be simper. Its a stunning colour and tastes delicious. Beetroot is a great detoxifier, coconut milk is full of good fats and butter beans provide protein, fibre and vitamins.
Serve with chia seeds for a lovely contrast and a nutritional boost.
Broccoli, Spinach & Bean soup
Broccoli and spinach are nutritional powerhouses, packed full of cancer fighting phytochemicals, vitamins, iron, zinc, B vitamins, protein, calcium and magnesium to name but a few. Green vegetables are highly alkalising and oxygenating due to the high levels of chloropyll so are just good news all round. We should be eating dark green vegetables every day and this soup is an easy way to do just that!
1. Simply put the chopped onion, broccoli and drained beans into a pot
2. Add the stock
3. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes
4. Add the spinach and allow to wilt
5. Puree with a hand blender
6. Serve and enjoy
Nice served with a swirl of soya cream and pumpkin seeds for an extra vitamin and mineral boost.
Lentil & Turmeric Soup
The addition of turmeric to this basic lentil soup adds all sorts of health benefits from relieving joint pain to reducing inflammation to protecting the heart and brain. Turmeric has beaten drugs in numerous trials and is the new superfood to add to your diet!
1. Simply add chopped peppers, onions, carrots and turnip to a large pot.
2. Add the stock and turmeric
3. Bring to boil, simmer for 30 mins until veg is soft and lentils cooked.
4. Blend, season and serve
🍃 Health educator🍃