So here we are, September, and with that the hint of autumn in the air.  The summer has simply flown by but what a wonderful one it was this year with all the visitors and Elijah's naming ceremony and beach days and swims in the sea.  We are very blessed and indeed lucky to live on an Island like this.

There is a certain heaviness that comes with letting all this go and welcoming in the new beginnings that autumn brings.  You have to let go to let in.  And today the children return to school and we are back into the usual routine with peak traffic, and the nights drawing in.

Plus of course there will be the usual seasonal cold and sniffles circulating, the change in season often brings this, and especially the transition from summer to autumn, as if it is clearing you out from the inside, and releasing all that excess phlegm!

I crave soup at this time of year, packed full of vitamins and minerals to support and help boost the immune system.  Now I am sure I have probably shared this before but it truly is yummy and everyone should have a stash in their freezer for when they are feeling energetically challenged.  Admittedly the photo does it no justice - I challenge even the best of food photographers to make this look yummy by photograph!!!

Immune boosting soup

3 cups of sweet potato cut into cubes
1 leek
2tsp cooking oil
1 garlic glove minced
1 tbsp. grated ginger
1.5 ltrs of vegetable stock
1 medium broccoli head, small florets and thin stalks of tender stalk
2 cups of seasonal leafy greens such as kale or spinach
1/2 cup cashew nuts (I often leave this out)
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 large bunch flat leaf parsley (if using curly parsley add more)
fresh cracked peppercorns
high quality extra virgin oil

Pre heat oven to 200 degrees Celcius

Toss the sweet potato in oil to coat, place on a roasting tray and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the potato is tender inside and golden outside.

In a large, heavy-based saucepan sauté the leek in cooking oil for 8-10 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the garlic and ginger; sauté another 2 minutes. Next add the stock, dislodging any brown bits at the bottom. Add the broccoli pieces, leafy greens, roasted sweet potato (whenever it is ready, it can be added later if necessary), cashews and salt. Simmer covered for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add 3/4 of the chopped parsley (it will cook almost instantly in hot soup).

Turn off the heat and purée the soup either with a hand held blender or a food processor. Reheat, then mix in a few grinds of peppercorn and taste for seasoning. Garnish each serving with the remaining fresh parsley and a glug of olive oil.

Enjoy!

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