There is something so comforting about coming home on a cold, winter Sunday afternoon, with a bag full of fresh ingredients and preparing a large pot of soup that, in one moment, aromatically warms up your home.
Soups are a household favourite and they truly nourish your body and soothe your soul. There must be a soup for every occasion, budget and time constraint. The bonus is, you can simmer up a large hearty pot of bountiful broth and have plenty left over for the week.
Seeing as I hold soups so close to my heart, and tummy, I’ll be sharing with you FIVE of my nourishing recipes below:
Roasted Tomato Soup
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Mouth-watering Minestrone Soup
Butternut and Apple Soup
Green Kale and Broccoli Soup
Check it out!!
Roasted Tomato Soup – Appetizing Antioxidants
Is your body longing for some Lycopene to pump up your antioxidant intake for the week?
This recipe contains a few key bioactive ingredients which hold those nutrigenomic capabilities, whereby your food interacts with your genes. These ingredients activate the protein NrF2, your master regulator for the management of oxidative stress in our body. Lycopene, derived from cooked tomatoes, quercetin, found in garlic and onion, as well as triterpenoids, extracted from freshly chopped raw basil, are some of these key ingredients needed to “switch on” a cascade which slightly resembles munching packmen gobbling up your body’s unwanted reactive oxygenated species.
2kg of ripe tomatoes (can also add some cherry or exotic tomatoes)
4-5 cloves of garlic, size dependant
2 red onions
1 litre of vegetable stock
3 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
Coarse salt and black pepper
Fresh basil (2 handfuls)
Fresh Mint and plain yoghurt (optional)
1 Heat the oven to 200 C
2 Halve the tomatoes and place them cut side down on a roasting tray.
3 Peel and slice the onions into wedges and scatter on the roasting tray.
4 Peel the garlic cloves.
5 Drizzle some olive oil onto ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
6 Roast the ingredients for fifty minutes until soft and sticky.
7 Empty the tray of roasted ingredients and juices into a large saucepan – crushing the garlic into the pot with the back of a spoon.
8 Add the red wine vinegar, vegetable stock and a handful of fresh basil leaves (chopped).
9 Leave the ingredients to simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.
10 Blend the ingredients together until smooth.
11 Add a spoonful of yoghurt and freshly chopped basil to garnish when served
My tip:I added chopped mint as well as basil and it was DELISH!!
Mom’s Medicine – Chicken Soup for the Soul
Growing up, an early sign of the sniffles, or a mention of a slight throat itch, lead to one thing and one thing only – a large concoction of mom’s chicken soup. I could slurp down a bowl in no time, not sure I ever believed my mom’s insistence in its remedy, telling her that the tails from her mother and grandmother were probably based more on a placebo effect rather than science. Mom is ALWAYS right and although we still don’t have the precise details as to why this “old-school’ remedy appears to help; there is evidence that this soup does help calm inflammation that triggers cold symptoms . Not only does the salty broth help hydrate our body, tells Rena Zelig, assistant professor of nutritional sciences at Rutgers University, to Time Magazine, but a study published in the Medical Journal Chest , indicates that the soup causes a decreased movement of neutrophils (white blood cells), creating an anti-inflammatory response . The chicken bones are packed with calcium, magnesium and phosphorus and let’s not forget the added nutritional benefit of all the vegetables and herbs added to the broth.
celery leaves, one bunch only
Parsley, 1 bunch around 20g
Dill, small bunch of 10g
4 big leaks or 8 small ones
6 baby marrows or 4 medium butternut squash
4 medium carrots
250g of pumpkin
6 chicken wings
6 chicken necks (if available)
3 tablespoons of chicken stock powder (can use low sodium stock)
Black pepper, ½ teaspoon
2 pots – a 2 litre pot as well as a 4-5 litre pot
1 Wash the chicken wings and necks under cold water and place them into your smaller pot. Pour cold water into the small pot, so that its just covering the chicken, and bring them to the boil for approximately 10-15 minutes. This allows for the residue found on the chicken to rise to the top of the water.
2 Remove the pot with the boiled chicken from the heat and pour the ingredients through a sieve, straining the flavoursome water, separating it from excess residue that we don’t want, while collecting the clean boiled broth in your larger pot.
3 Remove the chicken pieces from the sieve, wash once more under warm water and pop them into your large pot.
4 Peel and wash the parsnip, pumpkin and carrots, cut them into large chunks and place them into the large pot.
5 Cut the leeks in half both horizontally and length-ways and remove the outer layer. Wash well under cold water and place them into the pot.
6 Wash baby marrows/butternut squash well. Cut them into large pieces and add them to the pot of soup.
7 Wash the dill, celery leaves and parsley well, roughly chop them and add them to the pot of soup.
8 Fill the pot with water – the balance after the chicken broth liquid should approximately be another 2-3 litres. Crank up the heat to a higher temperature bringing the soup to a boil
9 Add the chicken stock powder as well as ½ teaspoon of black pepper.
10 Once the contents have been brought to the boil, lower the heat to allow the soup to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, testing whether the vegetables are soft or not with a sharp knife. The trick is to not let the vegetables boil for too long as you still want them to hold their structure.
My tip: If you want to freeze the soup, strain the vegetables from the broth as they, unfortunately do not freeze too well.
Let the soothing begin.
Mouth-Watering Minestrone Soup
A medley of nutrients packed in a multitude of colourful vegetables and beans. It’s a one pot wonder that can easily be made from any seasonal vegetables and greens you have on hand, making for a scrumptious hearty meal or packed away for lunch the following day. With a wholesome blend of cruciferous vegetables; quercetin and prebiotic-rich onions, garlic and leeks; lycopene-rich cooked tomatoes and additional fibre-containing beans it’s not only your taste buds that are in for a treat.
1 large garlic clove
1 red onion
2 sticks celery
2 small leaks
1 large sweet potato
1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 fresh bay leaves
1 litre vegetable stock
1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
1 x 400g tin of cherry tomatoes
1 large packet of spinach or kale
2 handfuls of fresh basil (optional)
1 Peel and finely chop the garlic. Slice the onion lengthways forming long strips.
2 Peel then trim the ends of the carrots. Roughly chop the carrots and celery, adding them to a large bowl.
3 Cut the ends off the leeks, quarter it lengthways; wash it under running water, then cut into 1cm slices. Add to the large bowl.
4 Scrub the skin of the sweet potato and dice into cubes.
5 Drain the cannellini beans and set aside.
6 Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
7 Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, leek, oregano and bay leaves and cook slowly for about 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened and stirring occasionally.
8 Add the sweet potato, cannellini beans and both types of tinned tomatoes to the pot, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.
9 Pour in the vegetable stock and stir the ingredients well.
10 Cover the pot with a lid and bring everything to the boil. Once boiling, decrease the heat allowing the soup to simmer for about 30 minutes
11 Cut the spinach or kale, removing the tough stalks from the middle and then roughly chopping the leaves.
12 Use a sharp knife to pierce a chunk of the potato to check if they are cooked.
13 Add the greens to the pot and cook for a further 10 minutes.
14 If the soup’s consistency is too thick, add a little water to loosen the contents.
15 Chop some basil leaves and use as garnish (optional).
My tip:This could be topped with a touch of grated mozzarella cheese. Truly is one of my favourites!
Butternut and Apple Soup – Smooth as Butter and Earthy as Nut
This bowl of vibrant orange creamy soup is health-giving in so many ways.
Butternut not only provides our bodies with fibre, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, but it also has a high source of carotenoids. Beta-carotenoid gets converted to vitamin A in our bodies. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant, helps fight infection and maintains healthy eyesight. It’s a winning combination.
1 large butternut, 1kg peeled and cubed
2 Fuji apples (If unavailable, Granny Smith will do)
3 medium carrots
2 sticks celery
1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 medium orange
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
2 long twigs of rosemary
litre vegetable stock
1 cup of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Apple Crisp Topping
1 Fuji apple (If unavailable, Granny Smith)
1 Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion.
2 Peel then trim the ends of the carrots. Roughly chop the carrots and celery then add them to a large bowl.
3 Peel the butternut, scoop out the seeds from the inside cavity and cut it into cubes.
4 Peel the Fuji apples and cut into cubes.
5 Place a large pot onto medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until translucent.
6 Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and rosemary twigs to the onion mixture, stirring for a minute.
7 Add the celery, carrots, butternut and apples to the pot and allow the ingredients to sauté for 10 minutes, stirring every so often.
8 Add the vegetable stock as well as the water to the pot and allow the contents to come a boil.
9 Squeeze in the juice of one orange and turn down the heat, allowing the soup to simmer for 35 minutes.
10 Sprinkle a little salt and pepper to taste.
11 Once the vegetable are soft and you can pierce them with a fork, blend the soup to a rich and creamy consistency with a stick blender.
Apple Crisp Topping
1 Wash then slice the Fuji apple into wafer thin slices using a mandolin.
2 Line a baking tray with some baking paper and turn on the oven to 180 C.
3 Lay the apple slices flat on the baking tray next to one another.
4 Lightly sprinkle the slices with cinnamon and some salt.
5 Bake the chips in the oven for 20 min, turning the apple slices over after 10 minutes allowing them to brown on both sides and preventing the apples from sticking to the tray.
My tip: Sprinkle the soup with some salty, cinnamon apple crisp for some added yumminess.
Going Green- Kale & Broccoli Soup
Want to ensure you get a good dose of your green vegetables – this is the soup for you.
The combination of broccoli, spinach and kale gives you a great dose of vitamins and minerals.
- Iron – helps our red blood cells to transport oxygen in our body
- Potassium – important for fluid balance as well as nerve and muscle function in our body
- Calcium – important for bone strength, cardiac function and more
- Folate – plays a role in the production of DNA and new cells in our body, improves cardiac health and feeds into the important methylation cycle
- Vitamin A – important for vision, immune strength, bone growth and more
Beyond all these beneficial elements; this green gold also has various nutrigenomic qualities. The bioactive ingredient, quercetin, which is found in the onion, garlic and leeks, helps to “switch on” our body’s antioxidant cascade by stimulating the master antioxidant regulator – NrF2. This starts a domino effect whereby the body’s antioxidant soldiers are called on to stop any oxidative stress from occurring. They quench the dangerous free radicals that float around in our body and that cause damage to our cells and tissues. The bioactive ingredient, sulforaphane, is created by chopping the broccoli and kale, preparing it for this green, creamy delight. Sulforaphane also turns ON NrF2, boosting your anti-oxidant and detox pathways. The trick with cooking the kale and broccoli is to chop them before you start the rest of your preparation so as to create the powerful sulforaphane and only pop them into the soup stock for a few minutes at the end, cooking them until they are al dente.
2 large celery stems
4 baby marrows
1 large broccoli head (300g)
1 bunch kale leaves (200g)
1 cup of baby spinach
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons of pine nuts
1 litre vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Wash and cut the broccoli into little florets and set aside in a bowl.
2 Remove the stalks from the kale, leaving you with soft leaves. Roughly chop the leaves.Remove around 1 cup of the kale and set aside for your topping.
3 Peel and chop the onion and garlic.
4 Wash and chop the celery stems, baby marrows and leeks (ensure you wash within the layers of the leeks and remove the green tips).
5 Heat the oil in a large pot on a medium heat and add the onion and garlic, sautéing it for 5 minutes until golden brown.
6 Add the nutmeg, followed by the celery, baby marrows and leaks. Leave to soften for another 5 minutes.
7 Add the vegetable stock and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
8 Add the broccoli and allow to simmer for 5 minutes .
9 Add the spinach, kale leaves and 3 teaspoons of thyme, cooking for a further 3-4 minutes until all the ingredients have softened slighlty, but still retain their vibrant green colour.
10 Using a stick blender, blend the soup to a smooth consistency.
1 Heat your oven to 180 C
2 Spread 1 cup of kale on a baking tray
3 Sprinkle the pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, thyme and a bit of salt onto the kale
4 Bake the kale for 10 minutes until the leaves become crisp
My tip: Plate up the soup into your bowl and garnish with your kale and seed mixture.
I trust these will keep you warm and fulled with wholesome nutrients.
Stay in tune for some more winter warming soup recipes to come.
Nourish yourself to the sunrise.
Cooked with love,
Sunrise by HM
Nourished yet? Comment on what I should write about next?
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