Providing food and away giving recipes is my way to show love and caring. I discovered this recipe whilst researching healthy and strengthening soups to restore energies in convalescents or after an operation. I love it because it is a highly alkaline soup and full of plant power. That does not mean that it does not also tastes delicious and will probably be the last cold soup I will want this year!
I dedicate this to Jim, from New Zeland, who enjoyed it with us in Jersey.
Seasonal display in Borough Market
- Avocados, 2
- Fresh lemon juice, 15 ml
- Garlic cloves, 2
- Tomato, peeled, 1
- Big handful of spinach or kale
- Green or yellow pepper, 1
- Cucumber, 1
- Red onion, 1
Blend in all in a food processor until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve fresh with big slabs of wholemeal bread. It is a kind of green Gaspacho and it tastes as fresh and healthy as it looks! Go and visit your greengrocer this week end and put together your own version! Let me know and I ll publish it if you wish…
Pure green fuel
A nice soup to warm you up, body and soul!
Parsnip (or “panais” in French) may not be yet on your “favourites” shopping list but it has the advantage of being plentiful and cheap at this time of year. The British here use it cut as long chips and roasted with olive oil and thyme, but only recently I have enjoyed it in a very typical soup paired with Curry.
A bit of Britain and a bit of India in an unlikely but winning combination…
Curried parsnips soup
- 300g parsnips
- 2 medium onions
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic
- 25g butter
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 chopped fresh red chilli
- Sweet paprika to taste
- 1.2L chicken or vegetable stock
- 150g potatoes
- 1 tablespoon creamed coconut
- Olive oil
- Diced red pepper to decorate
Fry the chopped onions with a little oil and add the garlic cloves and butter.
Peel and cut the parsnips and potatoes in chunks of similar size so they cook more or less at the same speed.
Add the stock and the seasoning and boil for 20 minutes on low heat – which is achievable once you have got it to a rolling boil on high heat.
Blend all the ingredients, once cooked through, and add the creamed coconut just before serving. Blend some more until the soup is very fine and creamy.
Decorate with chopped red peppers and smoked paprika in the plates.
This is a lovely way to enjoy a not much loved winter vegetable! The sweet taste of the parsnip makes a very comforting and warming dish, especially with the addition of the spices. I think that the association with the curry and paprika is proper genius! As for the coconut cream (or milk), I already knew that it goes perfectly with all sorts of winter delights: pumpkins, squashes, sweet potatoes AND now parsnips!
Do try it as well with sweet potatoes in a very energizing soup on this blog.
Have a bowlful and you are ready to brave the cold outside your front door: Snow is predicted for the week-end!
‘Pea, celery and mint soup’ is a seasonal and healthy recipe that I concocted at a recent Healthy Cooking Club with children aged 6 to 9 and I post it here ahead of the next session tomorrow because it has all the attributes I want my spring dishes to have: It is seasonal and healthy all right, but also light and warming at the same time and, more importantly, it is GREEN (my favourite colour). But let’s not forget its most endearing quality: you already have most of its ingredients in your cupboard and freezer, if not in your fridge!
- Olive oil 1 tbsp,
- 2 small chopped onions
- sea salt
- garden peas 500g (frozen is fine)
- celery, 3 stalks chopped
- handful of mint
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the chopped onion and stir with a wooden spoon.
Add the peas, celery and 1 cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil.
Add enough water (500ml) to cover the vegetables and season with a little salt.
Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are cooked : 15 minutes should suffice.
Stir in the mint, liquidize and serve.
Contact me for more information about The Healthy Cooking club for Children aged 7 to 14.
Soups are the quickest of “fast food” and when there is NOTHING IN THE FRIDGE (quote, children), there is always something to make a soup from… Hé oui.
Tonight, before Darling and Daughter go off to the football, I can think of nothing better than a broccolis and stilton soup to keep the cold at bay on the Fulham benches.
- One big broccoli, cut up into florets
- 2 small shallots
- 1 L of hot water with 1 knorr cube
- 1 tsp of sea salt
- 1 tsp of pepper
- Big chunk of Stilton – the older the better- 140g
- 1 Tbsp of cream to serve
- Some chopped parsley
Fry the sliced shallots into a large pan (or inside the Thermomix).
Put the broccolis florets and chop them on speed 4 for 30sec – again if using the Thermomix. Otherwise, leave them alone!
Add the stock (water and Knorr cube) and cook at 100 C or a rolling boil for 10 minutes.
Towards the end of the cooking, add the salt, pepper and cheese. Blend for 20 sec at speed 5 then 8/9. Or use your trusty blender and blend it to a cream.
Add the cream and some more seasoning if necessary. I hate nothing more than a bland and uninteresting soup – but then again with a mature chunk of smelly Stilton, your soup should not suffer from that… Mine was fragrant and warming.
Whatever the football result tonight, my supporters are going in well fed and ready for the cold night. I am staying in with some knitting… no kidding! I am knitting a scarf… and no: it won’t have the Fulham logo. Bad enough that it is black…
In case you haven’t guessed it, green is my FAVOURITE colour of all : the greener the better – and I don’t just mean “good for the environment”- though I like that too ! – I love the colour in fields, in clothes, in house deco and in food! Especially in food!
I just made this soup and loved its lusch, deep green and its tangy, velvety taste.
Extra virgin olive oil 3 Tbsp
Garlic cloves 4
Coriander, ground 1 tsp
Ground cumin 1tsp
Green lentils 150g
Vegetable stock 1L
Celery 1 stick
Fresh baby Spinach 200g
Lemon, freshly squeezed juice
Sea salt and black pepper
1 Tbsp of yogurt and some pine nuts
Heat the oil in large wok-style pan and add the chopped onions.
Cook for 10 min until soft, then another 10 min on higher heat to brown them. Remove some for decoration and set aside.
Add the garlic, coriander and cumin then the lentils and coat well in oil.
Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down to simmer for 30 min or so.
Add the fresh spinach and stir until wilted.
Liquidize half the soup and mix back in the pan. Season with lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper.
Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, some pine nuts and some fried onions, if you want.
I borrow this from Tonia George’s book “Soup”(Ryland Peters Small). With thanks!