Easy Weeknight Sweet Potato & Spinach Dhal

Easy Weeknight Sweet Potato & Spinach Dhal

This year I’ve been all about quick and easy recipes and this Easy Weeknight Sweet Potato & Spinach Dhal is exactly that. It’s so simple, packed full of flavour, super nourishing and is one of my go-to weekday recipes.

We spent the first 5 months of this year renovating our house so quick and easy recipes (ideally made in one pot/pan) became essential. We crazily tried to live through the renovation for the first few months but eventually had to move out when we went into lockdown and a bunch of tradesmen showed up to install windows. While it was a great excuse to have takeout A LOT, it also meant creating and photographing new recipes was near impossible.

As well as our house project I’ve also been working on a secret project for some time now and we’re almost ready to reveal all the details!  In the meantime, if you want a sneak peek head to www.haloandswoon.com or @haloandswoon.

With a lot less time on my hands this dhal (also spelt dal, daal and dahl) recipe has become a firm staple. The recipe calls for red split lentils because split lentils have had their skins removed which causes them to naturally split in two, and as a result cook very quickly. Lentils are a great source of fibre, plant based protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

You can easily adapt this recipe to ingredients you have on hand. Sweet potato can be swapped for regular potato or pumpkin, and spinach can be substituted for any dark leafy greens such a silverbeet, chard, kale or collard greens.

Hope you enjoy this recipe and stay tuned for our big announcement soon!

 

 

Weeknight Sweet Potato & Spinach Dhal

Sweet Potato & Spinach Dhal

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes  Cook time: 30 minutes

1 brown onion
2 cloves garlic
1 large sweet potato
3 large handfuls spinach
1 handful mushrooms
1 cup red split lentils
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 to 2 cups water
1 can coconut milk
salt + pepper

Garnish (optional)
microgreens (I like coriander sprouts)
yoghurt (I like unsweetened coconut yoghurt)

 

Peel and cut onion into small pieces, peel and crush garlic. Heat 1 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil in a large pan or pot, add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until they begin to soften

While the onion is cooking, peel and cut sweet potato into cubes. Wash and slice mushrooms. Wash lentils and drain. Wash spinach.

Add the sweet potato to the pan and continue to cook another 5 minutes. If the onions are starting to stick, add a little water to release the caramelised  juices from the bottom of the pan.

Add the curry powder, coconut milk, mushrooms, lentils and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook for around 20 minutes or until the lentils are well cooked and soft, adding extra water if needed.

Just before serving stir in the spinach. Serve dhal warm with a dollop of yoghurt and sprinkle of microgreens on top.

This dhal is delicious on it’s own, but is equally good with a side of rice or dosa. Keep dhal up to 5 days in a sealed container in the fridge, gently reheat in a pan before serving.

 

Weeknight Sweet Potato & Spinach Dhal

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

How To Create A Really Thick, Creamy Soup

I created this Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup one evening after being inspired by a deliciously thick soup I’d had at a local cafe. The soup was so thick you could literally stand a spoon up in it, which got me thinking about how I could replicate it.

To create a really thick soup the obvious choice are vegetables such a pumpkin or squash (even though they’re technically a fruit) and kumara aka sweet potato.

Lately I’ve been enjoying these vegetables baked whole in the oven. I like this method of cooking because it doesn’t require any oil and all the vegetables nutrients are retained (not lost in cooking water). Best of all, they caramelise ever so slightly and develop a beautiful, rich flavour.

Using this cooking method seemed like the perfect way to create a really thick soup. Once the vegetables are baked simply blend them with a little liquid and some seasonings, and the soup is ready to eat!

 

Why Soup Is So Fantastic

Soup really is an allrounder meal that can be enjoyed any time of the year, but is especially delicious on a cold day as it warms you from the inside out!

Although soup is usually served for lunch or dinner, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy this soup at breakfast too, as you would Vietnamese pho or Japanese miso.

Soup is really easy to make (at least all my recipes are ;)) and you almost always end up with leftovers/rollovers, which means lunch and dinner is sorted for days. And while soups are very filling and nourishing, they’re also light enough that your digestion will love you for it.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

My Favourite Soup Recipes

Some of my all time favourite soup recipes on here to date are: Creamy Spinach & Root Vegetable Soup which gets its creaminess from the vegetables without the addition of any coconut cream or plant milk. I love that this recipe can be adapted to any vegetables you have in your pantry or fridge or whatever’s in season.

Another favourite is this adapted Pho Ga recipe because it was inspired by our travels in Vietnam. I’d just completed my Sugar Cleanse Program when I created this recipe so I substituted the traditional rice noodles for zoodles. Now that I eat a plant based/vegan diet I would also use vegetable stock instead of chicken and sub out the chicken pieces for tofu, tempeh or toasted cashews for a soy free version.

One of the most popular soup recipes on here to date, also happens to be the first soup recipe I ever posted. This Carrot, Pumpkin & Turmeric Soup with Spicy Black Bean Topping has a real ginger kick to it and the black bean topping creates a delicious contrast in texture as well as a plant based protein element. The topping idea was inspired by the amazing Green Kitchen Stories who create some of the most amazing vegetarian soups around.

 

Full Of Anti-Inflammatory Spices

Which brings me to this recipe for this Roasted Pumpkin & Kumara Soup. This beautifully thick and creamy soup recipe is full of amazing spices such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and garlic. These flavourings mean this soup has very warming qualities, not to mention a heap of anti-inflammatory, calming and restorative properties.

Because it’s uber thick it feels very filling while you’re eating it, yet it’s still very light on the digestion because it’s simply blended vegetables.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentil Toppings

I’ve been loving roasted cauliflower florets with a spicy almond and chickpea flour coating which gives them a delicious crunch on the outside that yields to a soft, sweet cauliflower inside.

When thinking about what to top this super thick soup with, these little flavour morsels immediately popped into my head.

I also wanted to make sure there was a good plant based protein element in this soup so my other favourite topping is oven popped lentils! These couldn’t be easier to make. Simply drain a can of lentils, toss with spices and then bake in the oven until crunchy and just starting to “pop”. If you prefer to cook your lentils from scratch then even better!

Both these toppings are completely oil, sugar, gluten and grain free, and really pack a flavour punch!

 

Adaptable To Any Vegetables In Season Or Your Pantry

Like most of my soup recipes, this one is no exception and is another very adaptable recipe where you can swap in or out any vegetables of your choice according to what’s in season or in your pantry. Some other great root vegetable options are parsnip, carrot, beetroot (although your soup will turn red!) and potato.

This roasted pumpkin & kumara soup recipe is completely plant based/vegan, gluten/grain, dairy and sugar free, and also just happens to be another 10 Day Sugar Cleanse approved recipe.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

I hope you love this nourishing Pumpkin & Kumara Soup recipe as much as I do, and if you make it be sure to leave me a comment down below and tell me what you think.

Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes

1 small pumpkin or squash
1 extra large kumara (sweet potato)
2 cloves garlic
5 cm piece fresh ginger (or 1 tsp powder)
5 cm piece fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp powder)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pink Himalayan salt & black pepper
400 ml can coconut milk

Crunchy Cauliflower
1/2 head cauliflower
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup chickpea flour
2 tsp spicy curry powder
1/4 cup water

Popped Lentils
400 ml can lentils (or 200g freshly cooked lentils)
2 tsp spice mix (I’m loving Jen’s Goan Xacuti curry powder from Farro, but you could equally use any savoury spice mix of your choice)

To Serve
Fresh parsley, roughly chopped

 

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Cut the pumpkin or squash in half, and place the cut side down on a baking tray. Place the kumara on the same tray and spike a couple of holes over the top with a sharp knife. Place the tray of vegetables into the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until you can easily pierce through the vegetables with a small knife. 

While the root vegetables are baking, prep the toppings.

If using canned lentils, drain, then wash to remove any unwanted debris and drain well. If cooking your own lentils, soak for 2 to 3 hours then wash well. Add to a pot of boiling water and simmer 20-25 minutes, or as per the instructions on the packet. Drain well.

Toss the lentils in the spice mix and sprinkle over a lined baking tray. Bake at 180ºC fan bake for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the lentils start to crisp up and pop.

Wash the cauliflower and chop into small florets. Mix the cauliflower seasoning together in a bowl to form a thick paste. Toss the cauliflower florets in the paste until full coated and place on a lined baking tray. Bake at 180ºC fan bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower turns a light golden brown.

When the root vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off the kumara and place in a large high speed blender jug. Peel the skin off the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and place in the blender jug. Peel and crush the garlic and add to the blender along with the rest of the spices and coconut milk. Blend on high until you have a smooth, thick soup.

At this point if the soup is a little cold and you’re serving it straight away, simply pour it into a pan and heat until you reach the desired temperature. Alternatively, transfer the soup to a sealed container and store in the fridge until required. To reheat simply place in a pot and bring to a simmer.

Serve the soup in bowls topped with a handful of crunchy cauliflower, a sprinkle of popped lentils and some freshly chopped parsley.

Store any leftover soup, cauliflower and lentils in separate sealed containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. The soup will also freeze well for up to 1 month.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

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F R E E   D O W N L O A D

Creamy Spinach & Root Vegetable Soup

Creamy Spinach & Root Vegetable Soup

 

It truly feels like Autumn in New Zealand now, especially with a very timely blast of icy weather this week!  Woolly jumpers are firmly on, winter coats have been dusted off, and there’s no question about whether or not to take a jacket on dog walks!

I’ve quietly started dreaming about warm destinations with swaying palm trees as I huddle in front of a heater, and Chewie is finally enjoying the temperature he was made for.

This time of year also means warm nourishing food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and soups are back on the menu!

 

 

I used to think homemade soups were far too much effort, until I made one from scratch and realised it’s one of the quickest and easiest meals you can make.

Soups are a great prep ahead meal and because there’s always leftovers which means you’ve got lunch or dinner sorted for much of the week, or you can pop leftovers in your freezer for an easy heat and eat meal on days you don’t feel like cooking!

My all time favourite kind of soup is the seasonal kind, which really just means whatever fresh produce I happen to have in my fridge or cupboards at the time!

Some of my favourite soup combinations to date have been:

broccoflower, parsnip & sweet potato coconut soup

chicken pho ga

coconut cashew soup

green soup with adzuki bean topping

spiced coconut and kumara chicken soup

carrot & pumpkin soup with black bean topping

 

 

Today’s recipe is for a beautiful pale green soup which has a lovely creamy flavour and just a hint of warming spices.

You can choose whether to blend it at the end or not. The blended version creates a lovely thick, creamy soup, whereas the non-blended version is more like a broth with chunky vegetables. Either version is delicious and really just comes down to personal preference (or whether you have a blender and 5 minutes extra).

Like most of my soup recipes, if you want to make this one plant based simply choose a vegetable broth and one of the plant based proteins instead of chicken.

This soup is so full of flavour it’s perfect served on it’s own, but if you’re a soup and bread kinda person, a side of crusty bread or your favourite toast never goes amiss.

But if you want to get super fancy, a swirl of yoghurt and sprinkle of dukkah takes it to the next level.

 

 

If you make this super easy soup, let me know!

Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or facebook. Enjoy!

CREAMY Spinach & Root Vegetable Soup

Serves: 6

Prep time: 20 minutes  Cook time: 20 minutes

Soup broth base:
4 cups water + 4 tsp broth powder (e.g. Nutra Organics chicken or vegetable)
Or:
3 cups water + 1 L organic broth (e.g. Imagine vegetable or chicken)

Seasonal vegetables:
1 small brown onion
2 cloves garlic
5cm piece fresh ginger (or 2 tsp ground)
2m piece of fresh turmeric (or 2 tsp ground turmeric)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
pink Himalayan salt and pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 sweet potato
1 carrot
1 parsnip
1/2 broccoli head
1 leek
1 zucchini
3 large handfuls spinach leaves

Protein options (choose one):
2 organic free range chicken breasts
250g tofu
1 can chic peas or
white beans

To serve (optional):
Unsweetened coconut yoghurt
Dukkah (bought or homemade)
Crusty bread or toast of choice

NOTE: if you intend to blend your soup and don’t want to turn your blender jug yellow, add the turmeric until the end.

 

Place the water and broth of choice in a large pot over medium to high heat and bring to the boil.

As the liquid is heating up start adding the flavourings. Roughly chop the onion, mince the garlic, grate the ginger and turmeric (see note above) and add to the liquid, along with the cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper.

Wash, peel and chop all the vegetables into small pieces, and add to the soup as they’re ready.

When the soup comes to a boil, turn the heat down so it’s just simmering and continue to cook until the hardest vegetable (carrot or sweet potato) has softened.

Lastly, slice the chicken breast (or alternative protein) and add to the soup. When the chicken is opaque and cooked through (or your plant based protein is warmed through), your soup is ready.

You can either serve this soup in broth form with chunky vegetables, or blend it to create a smooth creamy soup. If you choose to blend it and find it’s extremely thick, simply add more water until you reach your desired consistency.

Serve the soup hot, either with crusty bread or toast, or a swirl of yoghurt and sprinkle of dukkah.

Any leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If your soup contains chicken be sure to reheat it until steaming hot before serving again.

 

Spiced Broccoflower, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

Spiced Broccoflower, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

Spiced Broccoflower, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

 

Being the middle of winter in New Zealand, our dinner menu has turned to lots of warming, nourishing meals, and the simplest form that takes is soup! Soup can be very easy and quick to make, and the leftovers make for the best lunch the next day.

I’ve posted quite a few soups over the last couple of years, like this ever popular coconut cashew soup, this spiced coconut & kumara chicken soup and even a Vietnamese inspired pho with zoodles. I’ve also ventured into soups with toppings like this green soup with adzuki bean topping and this carrot, pumpkin & turmeric with spicy black bean topping.

However, I realised I’ve yet to share a completely blended, super creamy, vegetable based soup. No doubt because I’m all about minimising time in the kitchen, so if I can get away without blending a soup then that’s how it’s going to be served! This spiced broccoflower, parsnip and sweet potato soup simply begs to be blended, and the result is the creamiest, smoothest vegetable soup, that puts it into a whole other soup galaxy!

To keep things simple, this soup starts off with a broth base – either vegetable or chicken – up to you. Next add onion, garlic and ginger, followed by vegetables, and allow it to simmer until the vegetables are softened. At this point it’s best to blend it, i.e. before adding any spices, because if you DON’T WANT TO TURN YOUR BLENDER JUG YELLOW, it’s best the turmeric stays out until after you’ve blended it!!

If you throw caution to the wind and do it anyway, a turmeric stained jug can be reversed by leaving it in the sun where the UV rays will naturally turn it back to it’s original colour (though mine still isn’t quite the same).

To finish this soup off and bring all the flavours together add either coconut milk or cream – whichever you have to hand, and for those of you who feel some extra protein is required, you can either add a cup of firm tofu cubes, or finely sliced chicken breast.

As for toppings, here you can go crazy, if you want to! I love to start my toppings with a good swirl of coconut yoghurt. If your coconut yoghurt is too thick to swirl, a good tip to thin it out is to stir in a little coconut milk until you have a pourable consistency. From there, I like to sprinkle over some almond dukkah and finish off with some pretty edible flowers. But if you want a more substantial topping, feel free to whip up one of the soup toppings like the adzuki or black bean I linked to above, or simply throw anything else on top that you think would suit. Micro greens are beautiful as is a large handful of watercress. Enjoy!

 

Spiced Broccoflower, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

 

Spiced Broccoflower, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

Makes: 4 to 6 serves
Prep time: 30 minutes  Cook time: 30 minutes

500ml Vegetable or Chicken Broth (I used Imagine Organic Broth 473ml)
4 cups filtered water
1 brown onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
3 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 head broccoflower, cut into florets (could also use cauliflower or broccoli)
freshly ground salt & pepper to taste
10cm piece fresh ginger, grated
10cm piece fresh turmeric, grated (or 1 Tbsp ground turmeric)
1 Tbsp curry powder
dash of cayenne pepper
400ml coconut milk or cream

Optional Extras:
250g firm tofu diced
2 chicken breasts

Optional Toppings:
Almond dukkah
Unsweetened coconut yoghurt
Coconut cream
Watercress or micro herbs
Edible flowers

To make the soup, place the broth, water, onion and garlic into a large pan set over medium heat. While the soup base is heating up prepare the rest of the vegetables. Peel and chop the sweet potato and parsnip into bite size pieces and add to the soup. Wash the broccoflower well, chop into florets and add to the soup. Season well with salt and pepper. When the sweet potato is cooked through (test by cutting a piece with a butter knife and it should slide through easily), turn off the heat and blend using a stick blender or a Vitamix style jug blender.

Return the blended soup to the pot, add the remaining spices followed by the coconut milk or cream and heat until it just starts to simmer again. At this point the soup is ready to be served. If you wish to add tofu, simply add the cubes and allow them to heat through. If you wish to add chicken breast, slice it thinly and add to the soup. Allow the soup to gently simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with your choice of soup toppings from the list above.

This spiced broccoflower, parsnip & sweet potato soup will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for approximately a week, and will freeze for up to 3 months.

Spiced Broccoflower, Parsnip & Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

Chicken Pho (Pho Ga) with Zoodles

Chicken Pho (Pho Ga) with Zoodles

Chicken Pho (Pho Ga) with Zoodles

 

If you follow Swoon Food on Instagram you might have seen we recently went to Vietnam for our honeymoon, which was amazing! When we were asked what the best thing about Vietnam was, it was hard to pin it down to just one thing.

Vietnam is steeped in culture with beautiful architectural buildings and houses, and has a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Halong bay which was absolutely breathtaking (despite the shocking amount of plastic floating in the water). The weather was lovely and hot, and even though it was rainy season it mostly only rained at night, leaving lots of time to enjoy the beaches and lush tropical foliage.

But when we thought about it we kept coming back to the food. We had so many amazing meals and the food was consistently good no matter where you ate, not to mention very friendly on the wallet if you dined at local restaurants rather than hotels. Vietnamese cuisine is very fresh, vibrant, and full of flavour, and I love how they manage to incorporate fresh herbs into almost every dish.

One of the most famous Vietnamese dishes is their Pho, pronounced “fuh”, like “duh”, although somehow I never seemed to get it right given the confused expressions I received. Pho is essentially a very flavoursome clear soup served with flat rice noodles, slices of chicken (ga) or beef (bo), spring onions, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, chilli’s and lime. It’s a dish eaten anytime of the day in Vietnam, including breakfast, and the flavour differs slightly depending on the region.

The traditional way of making Pho is quite involved. A stock or broth is made from scratch using raw chicken or beef bones which must be parboiled first in order to achieve a clear broth. Onions, ginger, fish sauce, sugar, salt, herbs & spices are then added and the broth is cooked for a couple more hours, strained, and ideally left overnight for the fat to solidify so that it can easily be removed the next day.

 

Chicken Pho (Pho Ga) with Zoodles

 

I realised pho was essentially another version of bone broth which has become very popular in the western world recently. Bone broth has been hailed as a rich source of gelatine (the cooked form of collagen), and collagen makes up almost one-third of all the protein in our bodies. However, whether or not our bodies benefit from eating it as opposed to making it from scratch is another thing.

Traditionally, people would get a lot of gelatine in their diet through eating all parts of an animal, cooking in animal fat and drinking bone broths. Modern lifestyles have meant a reduction in the amount of gelatine in the western diet, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan, and unfortunately the gelatine in marshmallows and gummy bears is counteracted by all the sugar and other additives.

Feeling nostaligic, I decided to attempt my own version of pho. Wanting to avoid hours of boiling bones, I created a more time friendly recipe using a store-bought organic, free range chicken broth. When choosing store-bought broth make sure you choose a quality one made with real chicken as opposed to stock cubes, no added sugar, and low in sodium so that you can control the amount of salt added.

This pho recipe doesn’t contain any added sugar or fish sauce (which also contains sugar) and I swapped out rice noodles for zucchini noodles because they contain a heap more nutrients and fibre! Another great option if you’re looking to reduce your refined carbohydrate intake would be bean thread or glass noodles, but it’s entirely up to you which option you take. If you’re a traditionalist by all means add the fish sauce and use rice noodles.

A big batch of this chicken pho with zoodles will usually do for one dinner and a couple of lunches. Just be just be sure to reheat it well each time before serving, and always add the fresh herbs and sprouts etc to your bowl at the end to ensure they stay lovely and vibrant.

And that is my easy Chicken Pho (Ga) recipe with zoodles. I hope you enjoy this simple soup as much as we do, and please pass it on to anyone else you think will love it too. Enjoy!

 

Chicken Pho (Pho Ga) with Zoodles

Makes: Approximately 6 bowls
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes

1L Organic free range chicken broth (no sugar added/low sodium)
1L filtered water
2 brown onions, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 x 10cm piece ginger, finely sliced or grated with a microplane
2 free range chicken breasts, thinly sliced
himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 large zucchini, spiralised into noodles (or 1 packet bean thread/glass noodles, soaked in water for 15 minutes)

To serve:

1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
1 handful fresh coriander
1 handful fresh mint leaves
4 limes, cut into quarters
1 red chilli, finely sliced (optional)

Place the chicken broth, water, onions, garlic and ginger into a large pot and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the chicken slices. Add salt and pepper, I usually start with around 1 teaspoon of himalayan salt and a good grinding of pepper. When the chicken has turned white and opaque i.e. is cooked, taste the broth for flavour and adjust the salt and pepper. When you’re happy with the flavour add the zucchini or bean thread noodles and let simmer for a few minutes, before turning off the heat.

To serve, ladle the broth into serving bowls making sure each has a good portion of sliced chicken and noodles. Place a portion of bean sprouts into each bowl, followed by a sprinkling of spring onions, and top with fresh herbs. Serve the sliced chillies and lime on the side for people to add as they wish.

Store any leftover chicken pho in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Be sure to heat it to a simmer before serving again and add fresh bean sprouts, spring onions and herbs to the bowls each time.

 

Coconut Cashew Soup with Turmeric & Ginger

Coconut Cashew Soup with Turmeric & Ginger

Cashew Coconut Ginger Soup

 

I created this coconut cashew soup on a very wet and rainy day. I wanted something warming, full of seasonal vegetables, packed with flavour and a good amount of plant-based protein.

This style of soup is so quick and easy to prepare, I’ll often whip up a batch for lunch and it will last us for the rest of the week. I start with a broth or stock base, add flavourings and spices, followed by whatever fresh vegetables I have to hand, and some form of protein. To finish I’ll stir through some coconut milk and make any last flavour adjustments. On this particular day I tried activated cashew nuts as the main protein and the resulting soup was so delicious it was worthy of it’s own blog post!

I love using fresh ginger and turmeric together as aside from tasting amazing, they both have brilliant anti-inflammatory properties that are good for your body on so many levels. I soaked the cashews in this recipe before adding them to the soup as his removes the inhibitor enzymes on their skins making them much more easy to digest. It also gives the cashew nuts a lovely soft texture which goes perfectly with the other vegetables in the soup.

This soup is so versatile and can be adapted to whatever fresh seasonal produce you have to hand. If you don’t have tomatoes, simply leave them out. Likewise if you have pumpkin or sweet potato instead of carrots, then use them instead. A good rule of thumb is to add any hard vegetables to the broth first to give them the longest cooking time, and add the soft vegetables such as spinach or other leafy greens last as they don’t need nearly as much cooking time and are much nicer when they retain their green colour.

This soup is naturally dairy, gluten and sugar free yet it has a lovely rich, creamy, almost sweet flavour from the coconut milk and fresh turmeric. If you want to up the protein content further you could add some lentils, chicpeas or even some finely sliced chicken. This soup keeps well in the fridge for up to a week and makes a wonderful warming lunch or dinner.

Enjoy!

 

Coconut Cashew Soup with Turmeric & Ginger  

Coconut Cashew Soup with Turmeric & Ginger

Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Soaking time: 2-4 hours

1 cup cashews, soaked (optional)
500ml Vegetable or Chicken Broth (I used Imagine Organic Broth 473ml)
3 cups filtered water
1 brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
10cm piece fresh ginger, grated
10cm piece fresh turmeric, grated
1 tsp cinnamon
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 large handfuls spinach leaves, washed
3 small tomatoes, chopped
freshly ground salt & pepper to taste
270ml coconut milk

Start by soaking (aka activating) the cashews by placing them in a bowl and covering with filtered water. Leave to stand for 2-4 hours. This step is optional especially if you are short on time, as the soup will still taste just as good without soaking the cashews. The benefit of soaking the cashews is that it removes the inhibitor enzymes from their skins making them much more easy to digest and gives them a nice soft texture.

To make the soup, place the broth, water, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon into a large pot set over medium heat. While the soup base is heating up prepare the rest of the vegetables. Peel and chop the carrots and celery into bite size pieces and add to the soup. Wash the spinach leaves well, wash and chop the tomatoes and add to the soup once it has come up to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the carrot is cooked (which can be tested by cutting a piece with a butter knife and it should slide easily through), turn off the heat and add the coconut milk. Stir well to combine.

Lastly rinse the soaked cashew nuts well and add to the soup. Serve the soup warm with your favourite crusty bread or raw seed crackers.

This coconut cashew soup with cashew nuts will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for approximately a week, and will freeze for up to 3 months. Enjoy.