Fiery Antiinflammatory Soup – Winter Soup Series 3

Fiery Antiinflammatory Soup – Winter Soup Series 3

I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve posted something here. And in a sense it has. There’s not all that much left to January so it’s about time I got going with the blogging for 2016! I really enjoy the creative process of it all. From thinking up recipes, playing in the kitchen, taking the photos and doing the writing. And I’m so grateful to all of you who check in here, take the time to read my ramblings and try out my recipes. So thank you ūüôā

Though time seems to fly, it always does(!) this is going to be the year I really practice on being more present and living in the here and now. With an emphasis on practice, be cause that’s just what it is. Some days it works better and seem easier, than others, but in the end all we can do is practice. And when we do, practice that is, regardless of what it is you are practicing – meditation, mindfulness, cooking, weightlifting, running, yoga – we all get better, little by little through the dedication to practice.

I think if we are looking to change anything, whether is something about ourselves, add in a daily selfcare ritual to our lives or learning a new skill, the secret to success goes as follows: Acknowledgement (you want something different to what you have / where you are),¬†Awareness¬†(you need to know where you currently are at, what your patterns are and what it is you need to do different in order to change),¬†Trust¬†(put faith in the process, that if you consistently follow through you will,¬†get there, even when it doesn’t feel like you will) and finally¬†Devotion¬†(because what you want to change and become matters more to you than staying the same).

I suppose one can see Devotion and Discipline as almost synonyms, however I don’t know about you but discipline too me feel a lot harsher and more rigid than devotion. So I stick with the former… So from here on in, for this year I’m going to honour my devotion to staying present in my life (and to blog regularly.) These are my intentions for 2016.

What are your intentions for this New Year?¬†If you need some help to get clarity around where you need to focus, feel free to download this practical sheet I’ve created HERE.¬†It’s yours to play around with.

 

“Where attention goes, energy flows and result show”.

 

And what about being more present? Have you ever noticed how how perceptive time can be? Like when you actually¬†slow down,¬†it almost feels like you’ve got more time,¬†because in that moment you have more time to experience everything that’s going on around you as well as what’s going on inside you… Sounds counter intuitive, I know, but let’s try it. The opposite is certainly true when you surf the internet or scroll through Facebook…

 

antiinflammatoryr soup

 

So what about cooking and eating? Excellent times to practice awareness, mindfulness and being present I think. Perhaps easier said that done, but if you are going to make the effort of cooking from scratch, using all the colourful foods you bought you might as well actively engage in the process. It is so much more rewarding that way!

Last week I had the opportunity to play in the kitchen, as well as with my camera. To make it even better one of my lovely friends came over and was my handmodel for the day. So that made it extra fun!

This is a true, yellow, fiery soup to warm you on cold winter days. Even the bright yellow colour brightens my mood, especially as there still seems to be no end in sight to this current Irish wet winter weather… So as “sunny looking” bowl of hearty goodness has to make up for the lack of the sunlight.

This soup is also highly antiinflammatory as it is full of antiinflammatory foods like, onion, garlic, turmeric and ginger. The main star of the soup is the butternut squash which is a type of pumpkin, readily available in most supermarkets these day. This pumpkin is a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin C and the yellow coloured phyto-nutrient beta carotene.

It is a really wholesome, wholefood soup made from just a couple of basic ingredients + stock. Of you are battling a cold, need some warming up or are looking for some antiinflammatory support then here’s one way to do it! You’ll have this colourful beauty whipped up in no time.

This is the third recipe in the Winter Soup Series, and I have at least one more lined up before the winter is over…

 

soup with butternut squash

 

Fiery Anti inflammatory Soup

 

Serves 4

1 yellow onion, peeled & finely chopped

1 buttenut squash, roasted (whole), deseeded and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped

2 fresh roots of turmeric, chopped or 1 tbsp dried powder

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled & finely chopped

A pinch of dried chilli flakes

Sea Salt & Black pepper, to season

Vegetable stock, about 1 litre – I never really measure out my stock but use enough to cover my veggies and then add more as necessary to thin the soup when blending it

For the toasted seeds as topping:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

3 tbsp tamari, wheat free soy sauce

Start by heating your oven to 200¬įC. Place the butternut squash on a oven tray and then leave it to roast in the hot oven for about 30 min or until the skin is lightly burnt and the squash is soft. This is by far the easiest way to deal with butternut squash as it is a complete pain to try to peel or chop it when fresh! You can even roast it the day before if you have the oven on anyway.

Whilst the butternut squash is roasting, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Then gently heat some olive oil in a heavy based saucepan. Once the oil is warm, add in the onion, garlic and ginger and saute until soft. 

Add in the turmeric just before the end and stir through but be careful not to burn it.

When your butternut squash is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool before you cut in in half and remove the seeds. If you are feeling enthusiastic you can clean and save these for roasting later…

If you are using an organic squash you can leave the skin on, otherwise peel the soft skin off and add the pumpkin flesh to the saucepan. 

Add enough stock to cover the vegetables and bring up to boil. Then reduce to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 15 min. Allow the soup to cool down a little before you blend it smooth. Add more stock as necessary to thin to your preferred consistency.

To make the toasted seeds; 

Heat the oven to 150¬įC. Or toast the seeds once you are done with the squash.¬†

Place the seeds on a lined baking tray. Add the tamari and toss until evenly coated. 

Roast in the oven for 15 min, until they look just about dry.  Give them a stir with a spoon every 5 min too. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool down.

Top each bowl of soup with a descent table spoon of toasted seeds and store any leftover ones in a glass jar in your store cupboard. The seeds are also delicious as a little snack on their own or as a salad sprinkle.

nutritonal therapy

What are your favourite yellow foods? Please share below ūüôā

Apple-Beetroot Soup – Winter Soup Series 1

Apple-Beetroot Soup – Winter Soup Series 1

Since we had a Summer Salad Series, I thought it I might treat you to some Winter Warmers over the coming months. Soups are such an amazing way to enjoy seasonable vegetables and to ensure you eat your minimum of 5-a day. Enjoying a big bowl of soup daily is a surefire way of making sure you get at least your minimal dose.

I’m one of these odd people who don’t like having soup as a starter, as to me it’s a meal in itself. However, if you’re having soup as a single meal, make sure you have¬†enough. Otherwise it’s not going to keep you fulled to your next meal. A measly cup won’t cut it (well not for me anyway!), if you’re not pairing it with a whole lot of bread or something…

 

I think sometimes we become so consumed with what we eat, or simply eat to “fill the gap” as we notice an urgent hunger sensation or running out of steam. But what if we actually took the time to stop and “smell the roses”? Or as in this case, the apples. Perhaps it’s then we really¬†can appreciate the intensity and depth in flavour eating seasonally gives us.

Have you noticed how much more the apples that are around this time of year smells? I love these kinds of winter apples with their sharp and crisp flavour. They pair so well with green salads or as a small snack with some nut butter. Lately I’ve also added finely chopped fresh apples to my morning porridge + some ground cinnamon. Or I’ve used them as a bold pairing, like here, with beetroot.

 

apple-beetroot soup

 

After getting over my past dislike of beetroot there’s been no holding back! I’ve had it raw, cooked in salads, in hummus, cakes and now soup. It’s such an incredibly powerful vegetable with its liver and blood supporting nutrient content, in form of glutathione, nitric oxide and iron.

I’m also tying this recipe into my last blog post talking about the ROOT Aspect of health. Beetroot, being both a root vegetable growing deep in the earth, being the colour red and being beneficial to the red blood cells kind of IS the perfect “cover face” for the ROOT Aspect. I think there’s nothing more grounding when it comes to food than pulling a beautiful root vegetable out of the ground. It’s a direct connection with the soil, which nourishes us all… Having dabbled in some GIY this year, which I really enjoyed, I’ve discovered for myself how de-stressing it actually is to literally stick your fingers in the soil and to get your hands dirty, when your head is feeling frazzled. I’m sure those of you who already are avid gardeners know this, but I couldn’t believe actually HOW beneficial I found it to be to my own health and wellbeing. Especially these days when a lot of time is spent in front of the computer.

 

This very bright red soup was something I tried and tested already last year but it never made it to the blog before the seasons changed… I think there’s a picture of the first attempt somewhere waaay back over on Instagram. (Be warned, you will have to scroll back a few hundred images!) Anyway, at that time I didn’t write down the recipe so I’ve made it a few more times since, taking notes (!) with the intention of sharing it here with you all. So now after a few more test rounds, here it is, ready to share!

It may seem like a bold choice of flavours but trust me, it works. The sweetness of the apples marry with the earthiness of the beetroot. I added some shaved coconut on top as a fnish here, but you can use yogurt too.

 

apple-beetroot soup

 

 

Apple – Beetroot Soup

Serves 4

3 medium sized beetroot, peeled & finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 small apples, cored & finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin seeds, ground

1 tsp fennel seeds, ground

700 ml vegetable stock

Start with grounding the spices with a pester and mortar. Gently heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan, then add the ground spices and fry off for a few minutes until fragrant.

Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until soft and transparent, but not burnt. Add the finely chopped beetroot and the chopped apples. Let the beetroot and apple soften by gently mixing them with the onion and spices over medium heat, for about 5 min.

Then add the vegetable stock and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover the saucepan with a lid. Let the soup simmer for 45 min until the beetroot is soft. Allow it to cool somewhat before blending it smooth. I use my handheld blender directly into the saucepan (I’m a little lazy like that!)

Serve the soup warm in bowls, topped with some shaved coconut flakes.

P.S If you want to know some more about the health benefits of apples check out this great article!

 

straightforward nutrition

¬†What is your favourite Winter Soup? Please share, I’d love to know!