Pumpkin and Butterbean soup with Coconut
This is a lovely, warming, antioxidant-rich soup, perfect for chilly autumn days. The addition of butterbeans provides protein and a creamy texture and the coconut milk adds a pleasant heaviness, a little like adding cream to a soup.
1 medium size pumpkin deseeded, peeled and cut into small pieces (if you can’t get pumpkin, butternut squash is a perfect substitute)
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 medium sweet potato peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 tin of butterbeans + their water (use organic which have no sugar or salt added)
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp turmeric
1 tin of organic coconut milk (shake the can before using, to mix, as it usually separates in the tin)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
A little chopped fresh parsley to serve
In a large saucepan with a lid, fry the onion in the oil gently for a few minutes. Then add the garlic, pumpkin and sweet potato. Cook for a few minutes and add the nutmeg, turmeric, butterbeans plus their water, coconut milk and some water to just cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil then simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes or so until the vegetables are soft. Liquidise a third of the soup and mix back in to the rest – this gives you a creamy chunky soup. Alternatively, liquidise the whole lot. Season to taste.
If you keep back a few spoonfuls of coconut milk you can use it to add a swirl to each bowl of soup when serving. Lastly, sprinkle with a little chopped parsley.
Serves at least 6 people depending on the bowl size.
Moroccan sauce with Chickpeas and Roast Vegetables
This dish is my own version of a recipe from ‘The fair trade everyday cookbook’. It is warm and comforting, and packed full of antioxidants from the brightly coloured vegetables and the spices. Antioxidants help to strengthen our immune systems, protect us from disease and ward off premature aging. Just what we need as we come into the winter months.
Serve this with quinoa – an incredibly nutritious seed which contains all the essential amino acids, many vitamins and minerals and essential fats. It was known as ‘the food of the gods’ in Peru where it originated. It is really quick and easy to cook, just double the amount of water to the amount of quinoa seed.
For the roast vegetables
1 medium sweet potato scrubbed clean and cut into 1 inch chunks
½ a butternut squash or pumpkin – peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
1 red and 1 orange pepper deseeded and cut into chunks
2 carrots scrubbed and sliced thickly
For the sauce
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 inch fresh ginger peeled, grated and chopped finely
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp mild chilli powder
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
4 oz chopped dates
1 tin chickpeas + their water (organic tinned chickpeas are usually free of salt and sugar)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 big handful of fresh chopped coriander or parsley or a mix of both
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Olive oil or coconut oil
Toss the vegetables in some olive oil or coconut oil in a roasting tin and roast on gas mark 6 or electric 200 for about 20 minutes or until soft.
Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan. Add all the spices, garlic and ginger. Fry for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes, dates, chickpeas and their water. Add more water if it seems a little thick.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Season and add the coriander.
Toss the roast vegetables into the sauce and stir to coat.
To cook the quinoa – measure 8 oz of quinoa into a sieve and hold under a running tap to clean. Put into a saucepan with 16 fl oz water. Bring to the boil and then simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Take off the heat, leave to stand for a further 5 minutes and then fluff up with a fork and serve.
From September, Liz will be running Zest4life programmes (Patrick Holford’s Nutrition and Weight Loss programme) in the Galway area. For more information, contact Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0868099604
Liz’s website www.wholefoodmatters.com contains articles, recipes and information about her cookery classes.