The weather has got colder, and this calls for nights in and plates of piping hot food! So while cuddling and snuggling, and enjoying an episode or two, why not treat yourself to a homemade mug of soup? Forget the traditional minestra and Soppa tal-Armla for a few days, and opt to try out these glorious soups, which might even entice the taste buds of the fussiest teenager.
Soup can be tasty and mouthwatering, low in calories, and full of vitamins, minerals and disease-busting phytochemicals! If you’re anything like me though, soup just isn’t enough of a meal, so it would be wise to follow a steaming bowl of vegetable goodness with a Spanish omelette or a tasty lentil patty. For something less time consuming, or if you need a portable lunch to take to work, a gluten-free wholegrain toasted sandwich with an avocado filling will do the trick.
You can also be a bit healthier, especially if you truly let loose during the Christmas season, and opt for a vegetarian meal. The Thai soup can be prepared without chicken, and you can add more vegetables instead. Remember that at times it’s good to have a meatless day as your body needs a break from high calorie and protein intake. If this isn’t a good enough reason to have a meatless Monday, then think of how much the environment will benefit if you decide to spare a cow or two.
GREEN VEGETABLE MADRAS SOUP
1 large broccoli, cut into florets
2 medium marrows, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 heaped tablespoons madras curry
1 level tablespoon cumin
1 level tablespoon chives
1 teaspoon pepper
1 curry leaf
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
1 litre vegetable stock (low salt)
½ litre water
1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
200ml rice cream
- Prepare all the ingredients as needed.
- Lightly fry the onion and garlic with the curry leaf, chives, coriander, and cumin.
- When fragrant and starting to brown, add the salt, marrows and broccoli and continue to fry for 3 minutes. Add the pepper.
- Add the stock and simmer for 40 minutes.
- Add the rice cream and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Purée with a high-speed blender.
THAI CHICKEN SOUP
550ml coconut milk
1 medium sized chicken breast, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon honey
4 to 6 leaves bok choy / pak choi or spinach
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 organic chicken stock cube or homemade chicken stock (400ml)
2 green chilli peppers
2 red chilli peppers
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground paprika
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons lemongrass
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
4 large brown mushrooms (approx. 250g)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
8 cobs baby corn, halved (optional)
Juice of half a small lime
- Blend the fish sauce, garlic cloves, chillies, cumin, paprika and coriander together to form a purée. You may add a tablespoon of water or oil to give it a better consistency. Set aside.
- Prepare the chicken and vegetables as instructed above.
- Sauté the vegetables in a tablespoon of peanut oil until soft. Add the chicken and the chilli and spices purée and continue to sauté. Once the chicken looks cooked from the outside, add the stock.
- Bring to a simmer, add the coconut milk and simmer for a further 5 minutes on low heat whilst stirring frequently. Add the lime juice, some chopped coriander and chillis to serve.
© 2017 – VIDA Magazine – Rebecca Bugeja
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