This creamy spiced up version of pumpkin soup, is so delicious! I think pumpkin soup has to be the most popular soup for families. Serve with a dollop of natural coconut yoghurt or dairy free sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.
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Heat a large saucepan on medium heat. Add oil and sliced leek, cook for 2 minute. Add garlic and curry paste, cook stirring for 1 minute.
Add pumpkin, swede and broth/stock, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cook covered for 15 – 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Add coconut milk and salt. Bring back to a simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Add soup in batches to a blender and puree. This is a thick soup, if you would prefer a thinner consistency, adjust by adding extra broth.
Pour into bowls and serve with a dollop of natural coconut yoghurt and a sprinkling of parsley.
Coconut oil is one of the most nutritious fats to cook and bake with. Use organic extra-virgin coconut oil which is unrefined and unbleached from non GMO coconuts. Coconut oil has a high smoking point and it is slow to oxidize due to its high saturated fat content, thus, resistant to going rancid. Some studies suggest coconut oil helps with digestion, including irritable bowel, tummy bugs, candida and parasites due to this oil containing short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a healthy form of saturated fat.
Leek is a vegetable that belongs to the onion and garlic family. The edible part of the leek is the white base called the stem or stalk, the leaf sheath needs to be removed before eating. Leeks have a sweet, mild onion flavour and are commonly used in stock and soups. Leeks contain many flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins that have proven health benefits.
Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).
Red curry paste is ideal for flavouring meat, chicken, fish and vegetables dishes. The paste is usually a mix of, lemon grass, shallots, garlic, ginger, red chilli, salt, coriander, kefir lime, pepper and cumin. Purchase a brand that contains no MSG, artificial colours or flavourings, preservatives or trans oils. My favourite brand is Thai Gourmet Red Curry Paste.
Like all orange pigmented vegetables, pumpkins are rich in beta carotene (vitamin A) and studies show pumpkin contains more than carrots.
The vegetable swede is also know as rutabaga in North America. Swede is a root vegetable that is a similar shape to a turnip but larger, it's flavour is sweeter than a turnip and cream in colour, with some purple on top. The leaves can be eaten as a leaf vegetable. Swede is an excellent substitute for white potato, it can be roasted, baked, boiled, mashed, sauteed and delicious added to soups and stews. Swede can also be thinly julienned or grated uncooked and added to salads or coleslaw. It's a winter vegetable and stores well. Swede is high in vitamin C and provides antioxidants and immune support, helping protect the cells from free radical damage and assists in the thyroid hormone thyroxine. Swedes are rich in beta carotene and also an excellent source of iron, potassium and manganese, a good source of fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Making homemade chicken broth is a great way to heal Leaky Gut and excellent to drink when unwell. Traditionally broth was made just from bones and simmered for hours to remove the gelatin, marrow and goodness from them. These days vegetables are also added to give extra flavour. By using a slow cooker, making your own broth/stock is so easy. As soon as a roast chicken is eaten, all the bones go into the freezer ready for the next batch of broth. If purchasing store-bought stocks, read the labels as many companies have changed the name of MSG to yeast extract. Organic or free-range brands are available. My Chicken broth recipe is on page 295 of The JOYful Table cookbook. Freeze ice block trays filled with chicken broth for when a small amount is required for a recipe. You can also use an organic concentrated bone broth paste or dehydrated chicken bone broth powder and add them to filtered water.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. See coconut milk recipe on page 299 of The JOYful Table cookbook. If purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.
Raw pink Himalayan salt crystals is unlike common table salt which can be a highly refined industrial byproduct, otherwise know as sodium chloride. Himalayan salt is completely pure and may naturally balance the body's alkaline/acidity and regulate water content. In addition Himalayan salt helps in the absorption of nutrients from food and contains many trace minerals for healthy cell structure. I purchase fine pink Himalayan crystal salt so I can use it in my shaker and for cooking.
You will be able to find a recipe for cultured coconut yoghurt online using grass fed gelatin or tapioca starch for thickening. If purchasing a commercial yoghurt, read labels as many use vegetable gums and additives. Coconut yoghurt can be made in a yoghurt maker or a Thermomix machine. If you can tolerate some dairy natural organic Greek yoghurt can be used in it's place.
Parsley would be the most widely used herb worldwide. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. Fresh parsley contains useful amounts of vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium. Parsley is also high in bioflavonoids and other anticancer compounds.