When the winter kicks in, soup seems to get all the more cozy and inviting. It’s that warm nurturing ‘ahhhhhhhhh’ feeling.
I enjoy popping down to the local farmers market (with my hat and gloves on lol) and seeing what organic produce is in season. Local organic stuff seems to be brimming with so much life force and vibrancy – even in the depths of winter.
Our bodies tend to respond favourably to whatever is in season, it seems to nourish us in just the right way. It changes through out the season, making a delightful variety of options, all year long. I must say, it does feel rather rewarding to make a soup with lots of ingredients that I know are growing locally.
Alas, I must admit, I do tend to go and blow the whole ‘local’ thing by adding coconut at the end, which is most definitely not local to us here in England. I think it has something to do with my tropical roots and this deep longing within me to make ‘tropical’ my local place too.
Coconut is however, entirely optional, although personally I just can’t seem to help myself. Tastes nice without it, but oh my goodness, that coconut does seem to turn it from ‘nice’ into soul-stirringly yum.
I will say that I buy fair-trade, organic coconut to support more ethical practices. But, coconut or not, I will leave that one to you.
So anyway, aside from the coconut, the wonderful thing about this recipe is that I am using mostly veggies (leeks, potato, beetroot and carrot) that I’ve bought from my local farmers market. It makes me smile to know that they’ve been grown on the farm up the road or somewhere in England.
I am also rather blessed to be able to pop out into my garden to find the usual abundance of rosemary, sage, thyme that I planted in some distant springtime. I grow fresh parsley in a pot on my windowsill (bit too cold for it to survive outside in the winter). If I didn’t have all the fresh herbs, I’d simply go for dried alternatives (or mixed dried herbs). There’s always a way.
We are talking heaps of nutritional benefits in this soup from such a medley of wonderful nutritious, anti-oxidant rich ingredients. Yes!
- 1 large leek
- Dash of coconut or olive oil
- 1 beetroot (tennis ball sized or slightly less)
- 1 medium potato
- 1 medium carrot
- 3 celery stalks
- 500ml water
- 200ml passata (or tinned tomatoes)
- Big twist black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or 1 heaped teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon garden herbs (i.e. sage, parsley) (or one heaped teaspoon dried mixed herbs)
- Big handful fresh parsley (or 2 heaped teaspoons dried)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 150ml coconut cream (optional but recommended!)
- Chop leek, beetroot, potato, carrot and celery stalks all into small pieces. Keep the skins on the beetroots, carrot and potatoes (for extra goodness).
- Saute the leek in the oil for a couple of minutes (using the same pan that you are going to make the whole soup in to save on washing up).
- Add the rest of the vegetables to the pan.
- Add the water and passata (passata is essentially a tomato sauce or served tomatoes in a jar/bottle or tin - you can substitute with tinned tomatoes or roasted fresh tomatoes) and turn up the heat. Bring to the boil and then allow to simmer.
- Add salt, pepper and herbs (although if you are using fresh parsley rather than dried, please save this until the very end of the cooking period to retain it's vibrancy - otherwise all other herbs can go in at this stage).
- Simmer for about 20 - 30 minutes.
- Crush the garlic and add to the pan near the end of the cooking period.
- Mix in the coconut cream.
- Serve and enjoy!