Category Archives: Soups

#WIAW Going Green: Watercress and Leek Soup & I ♥ Edamame Beans

Last Wednesday I was all set to publish a post on my current favourite lunches, including this beautiful Sweet Beet Soup

Sweet Beet Soup

and this yummy wrap…

Seeded wholegrain tortilla with caramelised onion hummus, grated carrot, grated red cabbage, chopped raw beet root, sweet pickle, sunflower & hemp seeds

Seeded wholegrain tortilla with caramelised onion hummus, grated carrot, grated red cabbage, chopped raw beet root, sweet pickle, sunflower & hemp seeds

 

… when I discovered that the theme for this month’s WIAW parties is ‘Going Green’!  My choice of food colour was all wrong! :/

But no worries, I’m back this week with a recipe for a dish that’s very green indeed… Leek and Watercress Soup.  I’ve mentioned this soup a couple of times on the blog already as it’s one of Lil’ L’s all-time favourite soups.  He’s been eating it since he was a toddler!  A couple of my readers have requested the recipe and I do apologise for how long it’s taken me to get round to posting it.  I’ve got a serious backlog of recipes to post this year, but I’m slowly getting there!

Watercress & Leek Soup - 500 copy

For those of you that may be concerned that watercress is too peppery for kids, rest assured that when cooked in this soup, the pepperiness of the watercress becomes very subtle indeed.  The addition of potatoes contributes to the soup’s mild flavour, as well as giving it a lovely, creamy texture, without the need for milk or cream.

Here’s how I make it…

And finally, before I go, I would just like to show you one of my latest green food obsessions…  Edamame (Soya) Beans!

edamame-beans-look-younger-14062011

[Source]

I can’t believe that I only discovered these beans last month! How on earth did it take me so long? My friend ordered them as a starter when we met for lunch in London and I proceeded to devour the whole bowl!

Back home in Bath, I’ve discovered that Waitrose sell fresh edamame beans on their sushi bar, and in bags in the frozen vegetable section.  I much prefer the unshelled beans.  There’s something really satisfying about popping them out.  Lil’ L loves them too, so I’ve been adding them to his lunch box as a ‘treat’ 😉

As well as being packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, soya beans are also a great source of protein.  If you’re interested in reading more about their health benefits, the Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation have produced an informative 60 page booklet that’s available to download for free.

The Soya Story

I love the fact that even at my old age 😉  I’m still discovering new foods.

Are there any foods that you’ve recently discovered that you love?

 

 

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Filed under Healthy Snacking, Lunches & Light Dinners, Soups

Sweet Beet “Love” Soup

With its sweet, earthy flavour and deep purple colour, I have always been strongly attracted to beets.  In my childhood, my favourite salad ingredient was my Dad’s home grown beetroot, freshly pulled from the garden.

beetroot-uprooted copy

 [Source]

But little did I know as a child how good they were for my health.  I only recently discovered that beets are actually a super food.  Well I never!  Here’s what I’ve learned…

1. Beets are packed with vitamins and minerals
They contain a huge array of nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamins A, B & C, beta-carotene, beta-cyanine and folic acid.

2. Beets are rich in antioxidants which help to protect against disease
Beets are a very good source of antioxidants vitamin C and manganese.  They also contain a powerful group of antioxidants called betalains, which can help in the prevention of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and inflammation. (It’s the betalains that give beets their deep red colour).  The nitrates contained in beets can also help to lower blood pressure.

3. Beets cleanse the body
Beets are a great detoxifier, tonic for the liver and blood purifier.

4. Beets help your mental health
Beets, like chocolate, contain trytophan, a substance which is known to relax the mind and create a sense of well-being.  The betalains contained in beets have also been used in certain treatments of depression.

5. Beets boost our brain power
Beetroot contains high concentrations of nitrates, which are converted in the body into nitric oxide.  This helps open blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen.  Nitrites also increase blood flow to the brain, which may help to prevent dementia.

6. Beets are energy boosters
Beets are a great source of complex carbs and slow-release energy.  The natural nitrates found in beets also help to increase our oxygen intake and energy levels.

7. Beets enhance our physical performance
Studies have shown that the nitrates in beets can enhance physical endurance.  In one study, cyclists who drank 500 ml of beetroot juice were able to ride up to 20% longer.

8. Beets are great for weight management
Beets are high in complex carbs and fibre, but low in calories, which makes them the perfect food for weight management.

And finally, did you know that…

9. Beets are Nature’s Viagra!
The Romans used beets medicinally as an aphrodisiac, and science has proven that beets are indeed a natural Viagra.  Their nitrate content increases blood flow in all areas of the body.  Beets also contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.

If you wish to know more, there’s a clip of Dr Oz talking about the health benefits of beets (including number 9!) here.

Getting in the Mood for Love with …

Sweet Beet Soup!

With its deep red colour and wonderful mood enhancing properties, I reckon beetroot would make a wonderful addition to any romantic meal that you might have planned for your loved ones this evening 😉

On tonight’s menu for us, is a starter of Sweet Beet Soup.  Until recently, I’d only ever eaten beetroot in salad but, inspired by Candy’s beautiful blog post called ‘Simple Pleasures’ I was inspired to try my hand at making a beet soup.

Candy kindly allowed me to share her beet soup photo. Isn’t it stunning?

Sweet Beet 'Love' Soup

And perfect for Valentines!

You must check out Candy’s post.  It is such a beautiful read!

For my beet soup, I chose to add sweet potato.  As well as adding sweetness and additional nutrients, I find it gives soups a wonderful, silky texture (without the need to add cream or milk).  Furthermore, with the addition of the potato, I find that a bowl of soup is filling on its own, without the need to add a side dish of bread.

For protein, additional flavour, textures and nutrients, I add a sprinkling of shelled hempseeds, lightly toasted pumpkin seeds and dried dill.

Here’s how I make it…

[This recipe has been submitted to Ricki Heller’s #Wellness Weekend]

So I’ve got the starter and dessert sorted for tonight’s meal, just got to decide on the main course now!

Are you a fan of Beets? What’s your favourite way of serving them? 

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day everyone xx

p.s. It’s the last day to enter my Valentine’s Raw Chocolate Giveaway (ends midnight GMT tonight).  I’ve been overwhelmed by all the beautiful comments I’ve received on this giveaway.  Thank you so much guys! You really have made my week!  Since there have been so many entries, I’ve decided to make another batch of chocolates, and I’ll select 3 winners in total.  I’ll post details of the winners on FB and Twitter tomorrow, and also email directly.
Good luck everyone xx

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Filed under Lunches & Light Dinners, Soups