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 favourite 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.

 

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