A smooth, thick and mildly spiced soup with a little crunch from pieces of pecans scattered through. Add a dollop of natural coconut yoghurt and a sprig of coriander to dress up your soup.
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Heat a large soup pot on medium heat.
Add the ghee, onion, garlic and ginger to the pot and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
Add the garam masala, curry powder and cinnamon, and stir them through the onion mixture until fragrant.
Add the sweet potato and stir to coat well with the onion and spice mixture. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the cauliflower and zucchini (add a little extra liquid if all the vegetables aren't quite covered). Bring the pot back to a simmer and cook the vegetables for 10 minutes or until tender.
Remove from the heat and add the coconut milk and season with the salt and pepper to your taste.
Blend the soup in batches until smooth, with no green bits visible from the zucchini skin.
Add some pecan pieces to the bottom of each bowl, ladle in the soup and add a dollop of natural coconut yoghurt and extra pecans on top.
Optional, serve topped with coriander leaves.
Ghee is a lactose-free ancient superfood. It is made by slow cooking and clarifying butter to remove the milk solids and lactose, it's pure butter fat. You can get the flavour of butter in your cooking without the dairy (please don't consume if you have an allergy to ghee). My favourite brands are Organic Valley Purity Farms or Puresoul grass-fed. It is also very easy to make yourself. Ghee has a high smoke point 485F/250C.
In my recipes when listing onion I am referring to a brown (also called yellow) onion. Onions are members of the allium plant family which also includes garlic, leeks, spring onions and shallots. Onions are valued more for the flavour they impart in cooking than for their nutritional content. Onions are know for their antibacterial effect helping to prevent superficial infections and their sulfur compounds may block carcinogens.
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).
Ginger root is widely used as a spice but also for medicinal purposes. It is a hot spice which you will find in many commercial curry powders. It's often used to prevent motion sickness and nausea. Some studies have shown joint swelling in people suffering with arthritis experience less pain and swelling when taken daily. I like to use fresh minced ginger in my meals and dry ground ginger in baked goods.
Garam masala is an Indian blend of ground and toasted spices. Garam means "hot" and masala is "a mixture of spices". It can be used on its own or mixed with other seasonings. There is no single garam masala recipe, rather the ingredients change according to the region and cook. In Northern India, it will be aromatic and mild, while in the south of Indian the spice mix is hotter (it may include cayenne). Typical ingredients are cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black peppercorns, coriander and nutmeg. I purchase 'Simply Organic' or Frontier Co-Op organic brands, both don't contain any fillers.
Curry powder is a mix of spices, different brands can have different combinations. Most curry powder recipes contain coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, chili peppers, garlic, caraway and can also contain mustard seed and cinnamon. Read your labels as some cheaper brands container fillers like maize (corn), I purchase the 'Simply Organic' brand.
I am sure you will notice as you read my recipes that cinnamon appears quite frequently. It lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. I have used ground cinnamon in my recipes if not stated otherwise. The best cinnamon to use is Ceylon (Verum). It has huge health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has antifungal properties and candida (yeast overgrowth) cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Added to food it inhibits bacterial growth, making it a natural food preservative and these are just a few of the benefits.
Sweet potatoes are a nutrient-dense root vegetable, naturally sweet and high in fibre. They are a rich source of beta carotene (vitamin A), on average one medium sweet potato provides more than 100% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) for vitamin C. Also high in vitamin E and potassium. Store in a cool place but not in the fridge.
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.
Cauliflower is one of the cruciferous vegetables that should be eaten on a regular basis, as it has huge health benefits. One cup of cooked cauliflower provides you with 73% of your DRI of vitamin C, it's also a good source of vitamin K. You will find several dozen studies linking cauliflower to cancer prevention.
A zucchini is also called a courgette or summer squash depending on which country you live in. Zucchini looks similar to a cucumber and is usually served cooked with it's skin left on. Zucchini contains a good amount of folate, potassium, vitamin A,C and fibre.
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.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
Pecans are a rich source of dietary fibre, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and thiamin. Nuts are a great protein snack. Eat them raw or activated and it's best to avoid store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils.
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.