The best soup, vegetables and fruits to eat during winter (+ a recipe)

A piping hot bowl of soup is my ultimate winter meal.  As a child I have many memories of tucking into my mother’s comforting, thick and nutritious soups. Our bodies crave more nutrients and minerals during the winter months and soups are a fabulous way to stay nourished and healthy. The simplicity of popping a bunch of tasty vegetables, herbs and spices together make it a fantastic way to create a nutrient-filled and delicious meal. When I’m feeling a little bit ‘under the weather’ it’s the time I least feel like being in the kitchen, so I often make big batches of nourishing soup to fall back on, in the freezer. These are fantastic for busy days, late nights or times of low energy or needing rest. It ensures I’m prepared and making healthy choices even with the littlest effort or thought.

 

Wonderful winter fruit and veggies

Eating seasonally and locally throughout winter is not only more nutritious, it’s also good for the local economy and helpful for the environment. You’ll support local farmers and items won’t need to be shipped from the other side of the world. Having an array of colours in your bowl is also important. Some of the best winter veggies include beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplants, mushrooms, potato, pumpkin, rocket, shallots, snowpeas, silverbeet, sweet potato, tomatoes and zucchini. If youre looking for winter fruit to snack on, choose between apples, banana, grapefruit, guava, kiwis, mandarins, oranges, pears, rockmelon, strawberries and watermelon.

 

Spiced Moroccan Lentil Soup (adapted Thermomix recipe)

This Spiced Moroccan Lentil Soup is a fabulous toasty mix of spices and herbs, with added antioxidants and warming elements from turmeric and ginger. The red lentils are a low glycemic index food, which is favourable not to play havoc with your blood sugar levels. They contain insoluble fibre which prevent digestive issues like IBS or diverticulitis. High amounts of folate in lentils also lower homocysteine levels which can creep up when we are under constant stress. By maintaining low levels, this in turn supports heart disease. Plus, this soup is super delicious!

 

Ingredients

 1 brown onion

40g olive oil

1 tbsp fresh ginger

1 tsp coriander seed

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp fresh turmeric/ ½ tsp ground turmeric

¼ tsp chilli powder

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

750g water

2 tbsp vegetable stock

100g red lentils

1 small sweet potato, finely diced (optional)

800g fresh tomatoes (5-7 depending on size)

sea salt to taste

2-3 sprigs fresh coriander leaves

 

Method

1.     Boil full jug of water.  Cut tomatoes ends out and slice a cross in the bottom of each tomato. Once jug has boiled place tomatoes in bowl and pour water over the top of them until covered.

2.     Dice onion.  Sauté in oil until soft. 

3.     Add all spices and cook for a few minutes to release all of the flavours

4.     Add water, stock, lentils and sweet potato (optional).

5.     Take tomatoes out of the water and peel skins off.  Roughly dice and place in stock liquid.

6.     Cook on high heat for 20-30mins until lentils are well cooked.

7.     Serve garnished with fresh coriander & seasoned to taste.

 

Enjoy the warmth and flavour!  I certainly did.

Janelle x