Three Hearty Spring Soup Recipes
Let a hearty, delicious soup be part of your health secret!
It’s hard to believe that spring is just around the corner, as the warm weather still feels a way off yet. This month I want to focus on some lovely hearty soup recipes ready for spring, which I hope will inspire your cooking.
Little can beat a delicious bowl of homemade broth. So, why not feel a sense of time vanish – put some of your favourite music on, forget your household chores, switch off from social media, and excuse the cliche, start preparing your soup with some love? I’m sure you’ll be surprised by your tasty result!
There are so many reasons, in Chinese medicine, to make soup. Often used for medicinal purposes, they can be a great way to complement a patient’s traditional acupuncture diagnosis to support their overall health and wellbeing.
When I’m feeling cold this time of year all I want, still, is some warming food. I don’t tend to hit the salads until the consistently warmer weather kicks in because, in Chinese medicine, it’s far healthier for our digestion to keep in alignment with the current climate and seasonal changes. I encourage patients to do the same too. Simply put, most soup is a great way to warm you up from the core during the colder months. The ancient Chinese recognised soup or congee as being a great way to regulate the body’s natural thermostat. They may also prevent putting out our digestive Yang (I’ll talk more about the temperature of food and how it can affect your digestive system in another post).
So, let’s focus on your soup-making to see how beneficial it might be for your nutritional health. You can choose from my beetroot, tomato or green broth depending on what takes your fancy. All of the recipes taste lovely with some warm bread at lunchtime, and they’re often even more flavourful the next day. Plus they freeze well for emergencies too.
Here are three delicious hearty soup recipes to set you up for spring. Above all, take satisfaction in your cooking and enjoy the eating!
Please keep me posted with your feedback; I’d love to hear from you.~Emma xo
Please discuss with your doctor or traditional acupuncturist if you have a severe medical condition before trying any of my advice. As with all articles on emmasammels.com, this is no substitution for individual medical intervention. If you are interested in finding out more information, please visit my Bookings page.
Spring will soon be here – yay! It’s time to cleanse your body physically, emotionally and spiritually ready for the months ahead. And there’s no better way to do that than by making this green broth.
I concocted the recipe for its blood-oxygenating properties. From a Chinese medicine perspective, most dark green leafy vegetables are essential building blocks for enriching the Blood where there’s a pattern of Blood deficiency. Typical traits are a dull, pale complexion, premature greying, thin or dry hair, dry skin, pale lips and floaters in the field of vision plus many more symptoms .
Dark green vegetables continue to pack a punch in the press due to their broad health benefits. A study showed that most leafy greens contain nitrates – linked to reducing blood pressure and enhancing exercise performance in healthy individuals, along with other positive health factors . Basically, any green broth, for most of us, is fit for the whole body.
I hope you enjoy making this recipe; it tastes delicious despite its very green colour!
Notable: If you are taking any blood-thinning medication or have a thyroid/low iodine levels, please talk to your doctor before trying the green broth.
ADDITIONAL HEALTH TIPS:
In Chinese medicine, spinach and broccoli are both Cooling in nature. The rich chlorophyll content helps to build the Blood; however, if you have kidney stones eat sparingly. Also, if you experience symptoms of Heat, such as odiferous stools, feel hot or thirsty first thing in the morning and feel agitated from being in a warm room try substituting the chives for basil due to its Cooling effect. Avoid using the red chilli flakes too.
700ml organic, gluten-free chicken or vegetable stock (if you have time try making your own stock)
200g organic spinach
200g organic tender stem broccoli
1 tbsp of good-quality olive oil
1 large white onion
1 tbsp of chives
Optional: a pinch of chilli flakes
Slice the onion. Heat the oil in a pan and gently saute the onion with a sprinkle of Himalayan salt until translucent.
Chop the broccoli into small pieces. Stir in with the onion and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes. Then pour in the stock and leave to simmer for approximately 4 minutes until the broccoli is al dente.
Add the washed spinach, so that it wilts. Be careful not to overcook as it may turn a murky green colour. Stir in the tablespoon of chives and add the Himalayan salt and pepper to taste.
Lastly, blitz all of the ingredients with a hand blender.
If you like sour tasting food, I’m sure this Borscht recipe will be up your street. Despite looking garishly pink, it has such a delicious flavour!
Eating seasonal vegetables, in Chinese medicine, are beneficial for your digestive system, but sometimes it’s okay to fall by the wayside to avoid extreme diets. Even though beetroots aren’t in peak season during the spring, it’s worth adding this soup recipe to your repertoire.
Inspired by Dr Michael Moseley’s gut-friendly recipe, I’ve come up with my version. Gut flora is the gatekeeper of the digestive system, so, I try to make this soup regularly, and encourage patients to do the same too. Beetroot is also an excellent Blood tonic, essential for good health where there are signs of Blood deficiency (see green broth for Blood deficiency symptoms). I usually recommend making this recipe to help purify the Blood, benefit the Liver and promote menstruation.
It’s also linked to some amazing health benefits such as containing antioxidants and anti-carcinogens associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and various forms of cancer. Other advantages of beetroot are its anti-microbial, anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory properties excellent for many gut syndromes .
I have always enjoyed eating beetroot soup with a lovely warm roll and a smidgen of goats’ cheese, as the two flavours complement each another. Also, in Chinese medicine, goats’ cheese is considered less phlegm forming than dairy cheese, which may help to minimise catarrh.
Notable: According to the Harvard Medical School if you have kidney stones, it’s worth talking to your doctor before consuming any Beetroot in your diet .
OTHER HEALTH TIPS:
Beetroot is a Neutral and Sweet vegetable in Chinese medicine and can help to improve circulation, cleanse the Blood and also strengthen the Liver. As with any food, avoid overeating. Word of warning, the deep red colour of beetroot can show up in your urine!
1.2 litres of organic, gluten-free chicken or vegetable stock (if you have time try making your own stock)
4 large beetroot bulbs, peeled and chopped
2 banana shallots
1-1.5 tbsp organic coconut oil
800g celeriac, peeled and chopped
2cm fresh ginger
Juice of 1 lemon
Optional: a small pinch of chilli flakes
Put the olive oil in a pan and fry the shallots with some Himalayan salt until tender.
Add the sliced beetroot, celeriac, ginger, lemon juice and chilli flakes and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
Pour in the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Usually, at this point, I leave the ingredients in the fridge overnight as I find this soup tastes better the next day.
In the morning, I may add some extra stock, salt and pepper before blitzing with a hand blender.
This recipe is quick and easy to whip up, and it’s great for a Saturday lunch – all you need is a big baking tray, six ripe tomatoes, a dash of red chilli pepper and some little extras. I usually make a batch and eat it within a couple of days because it tastes better fresh.
For a treat, I enjoy tomato soup with a warm fresh gluten-free wholemeal roll and some organic butter. Alternatively, you can use organic non-hydrogenated coconut oil in moderation. But if you want something extra-filling throw in some rice noodles with a dash of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon of seaweed. Seaweed is a favourite part of Eastern food, and it’s packed full of vitamins and minerals renowned for good health.
Research has discovered that lycopene, a carotenoid that is present in tomatoes, is one of the most potent antioxidants. Dietary intakes of tomatoes and tomato-based products are associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. They say there is no better way to kick-start your health regime by incorporating lots of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. So, why not find out how delicious and easy my tomato recipe is to make!
Notable: If you are taking any blood-thinning medication or have a thyroid/low iodine levels, please talk to your doctor before trying the seaweed. Also, tomatoes can upset calcium metabolism and may not be suitable for patients with arthritis.
ADDITIONAL HEALTH TIPS:
Tomatoes, in Chinese medicine, are very Cooling, Sweet and Sour, which means in a soup they may help to cleanse the Liver, purify the Blood and detoxify the body. Also, tomatoes are an acidic fruit. But after digestion, they tend to alkalise the blood, therefore, helping to reduce blood acid levels .
700 ml organic, gluten-free chicken or vegetable stock (if you have time you can try making your own stock)
6 organic ripe tomatoes
1 large organic red chilli pepper
1.5 tbsp of good-quality olive oil
1 tbsp of organic balsamic vinegar
1 large organic red onion
1 large handful of sunkissed oregano
Preheat the oven to 220/200c.
Slice the tomatoes, red chilli pepper and onion. Pour onto a large baking tray.
Sprinkle with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Scatter over the sun-kissed oregano and Himalayan salt and pepper.
Place in the oven and roast for approximately 20 minutes.
Add the roasted vegetables to a large saucepan and then add the chicken or vegetable stock.
Lastly, whizz through a blender until smooth and heat up, ready to be eaten.
Thank you for taking the time to read Three Hearty Soup Recipes.
Please leave your thoughts and write a comment below; I’d love to hear from you.~Emma xo
REFERENCES / LINKS:
1. Pitchford, P. (2009). Healing with whole foods. 1st ed. Berkeley, Calif: North Atlantic Books, p.387
2. Lidder, S. and Webb, A. (2013). Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(3), pp.677-696.
3. Vasconcellos, J., Conte-Junior, C., Silva, D., Pierucci, A., Paschoalin, V. and Alvares, T. (2016). Comparison of total antioxidant potential, and total phenolic, nitrate, sugar, and organic acid contents in beetroot juice, chips, powder, and cooked beetroot. Food Science and Biotechnology, 25(1), pp.79-84.