Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup with Homemade GF Croutons

cauliflower-garlic-soup

I can’t take the credit for this one, I got the inspiration from Waitrose recipes! It looked so delicious that I thought I’d try it and put my own spin on it. Honestly guys, it’s so delicious and so moreish, you must give this one a go for these cold winter days.

Ingredients

1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
4 large garlic cloves
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.5L organic vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped in half
4 fresh bay leaves

For the croutons:
3 slices gluten free bread or sourdough, cut into cubes or strips
1 tbsp thyme leaves
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the cauliflower and garlic on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil in a large pan.

Add the onion and bay leaves, cover and turn down to a gentle simmer.

Now make the croutons by using a handheld blender or small blending jug to blend up the thyme leaves, garlic and olive oil.

Add this to a bowl and add the bread and mix it all in with your hands to cover the bread pieces with the mix.

Line another baking tray with parchment paper and put the croutons on the baking tray and put in the oven for 15 minutes or until browned.

When the garlic and cauliflower are cooked, remove from the oven and add to the stock. Cook for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and take out the bay leaves. Using the handheld blender again, (or a normal blender if you don’t have one) blend until smooth and season to taste.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, some thyme leaves and the croutons.

Love & health,
Lauren

Carrot & Coriander Soup

cc1

Autumn is now upon us in London, and I’m feeling the drop in temperature instantly. I tend to make heaps of soups during the winter months. They are great for lunch as they fill you up but are super nutritious also, if you use the right ingredients. Carrots are a great source of fibre and are also high in vitamins C & K, and once again, here I am trying to increase my vitamin K levels in the lead up to my birth. They are also a good natural source of iron and folate, important not just during pregnancy.

Ingredients

Drizzle of coconut oil
About 8 large carrots
2 potatoes
1 onion
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp organic vegetable stock in 1.5 Litres boiling water
Salt & Pepper
Large handful fresh coriander

Method

Peel and chop all the veg then heat the oil in a large saucepan. Once hot, add the onion and cook for a minute, then add the potato, cook for a further minute, stirring a lot. Finally add the carrots, followed by the ground coriander, then add your stock and mix well.

Add a little pepper, wait until it just starts to boil then turn down, put the lid on and leave it to simmer for about half an hour.

Once all the veg is soft, either use a handheld blender if you have one, or put it all in a food processor, along with the fresh coriander, and blend. Taste to see if it needs any salt and as add required.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Cream of Mushroom and Thyme Soup

Mushroom Thyme Soup

These flavours go so well together I just had to do it! I got a load of mushrooms in my Abel & Cole delivery this week so soup it is! I love making a soup at the beginning of the week that will last me for the whole week… great for lunch alongside a salad or on its own with some Biona organic Rye bread 🙂

Ingredients

A box of mushrooms – about 10-12 – chopped
1 onion – peeled and chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1 can coconut milk
1 cup organic vegetable stock
About 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, without branches (add more if you like)
Salt & pepper to taste
Half tsp coconut oil

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Once hot, add onion and cook for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms and cook for a further minute. Add the potato until coated in the oil then add the stock, and then the coconut oil.

Leave to heat for around two minutes then add the thyme, salt and pepper. Stir well, turn down heat, add lid and leave to simmer for an hour.

Once ready, blend fully (in a blender or with a handheld) and serve.

Enjoy!
Love,
Lauren

Cauliflower & Tahini Soup

Cauliflower & Tahina Soup

I love cauliflower, especially as a purée, because of the beautiful smooth texture it blends into. This soup makes use of that, and the addition of tahini makes it even creamier!

Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, which has been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. Researchers believe that eliminating cancer stem cells may be the answer to fighting cancer. It is also packed full of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients, is good for your heart and your brain, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Sesame seeds (the main ingredient of tahini) are high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. Need any more reasons to make this soup tonight? It’s simple to make and takes no time at all!

Ingredients (serves 4)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
6 big cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 whole star anise
a head of cauliflower (about 500g) cut into florets
one potato (about 200g) peeled and cut up
1 litre water
1 tbsp organic vegetable stock paste or powder
3 bay leaves
the juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/3 cup organic tahini
pomegranate concentrate (optional)

Method

Fry the onion in the olive oil until it caramelizes. The more colour you get on the onions, the more flavour you’ll be putting into the soup. You want them to look something like this:

IMG_0130

The trick is to keep it on a medium heat and stir every now and then. If you feel that they may start to burn, add a few drops of water and continue. You could brown them even more than I’ve done here, I was just in a rush to make supper!

Add the garlic, cumin and star anise. Fry for a few more minutes. Add the cauliflower, potato, water, stock and bay leaves. Simmer until the cauliflower and potato are tender. The smaller (and more evenly-sized) your pieces of cauliflower and potato, the faster they will cook.

Remove the bay leaves and star anise, then pour everything into your blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until completely, 100% smooth. The measurements I’ve given for lemon, salt and pepper are just a guideline – use your taste!

I’ve served it with a drizzle of pomegranate concentrate – the sweet tartness balances the soup beautifully.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Butternut Squash & Ginger Soup

Butternut Ginger Soup

Another warming soup for another cold London day. You can probably tell by all my recipes how much I love butternut squash! Butternut squash have a lower glycemic index than potatoes and are high in fibre so great for the metabolism. They’re packed with Vitamin A and potassium, are low in calories (low GI) and high in Vitamin B Complex which I need lots of for my nerve problems caused by long-term arthritis. They are also high in polyphenols (like acai berries and blueberries) which are great anti-oxidants. An all round brilliant vegetable! I added ginger, firstly because I like to take advantage of the detox affects of ginger but also because it gives it a great kick. The two flavours really go nicely together – my mum taught me that! I of course added turmeric, as I do to everything that is yellow, for some anti-inflammatory action.

Ingredients

1 butternut squash
1 large sweet potato
1 onion
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup almond or coconut milk
1 tsp freshly shaved ginger
1 tsp turmeric
Salt & pepper to taste
Half tsp coconut oil
Handful of pine nuts (optional)

Method

Peel and chop your vegetables. When that’s done, heat the oil in a large saucepan and when hot, add the onion and cook for one minute. Then add the butternut and sweet potato and coat in the oil, 30 seconds should be enough.

Add the stock and almond milk, along with the rest of the ingredients and keep at a high temperature until it starts bubbling then turn down to low, put on the lid and let it simmer for an hour.

Once all veggies are soft, use a handheld blender to blend (or put it in a food processor if you don’t have a handheld) and blend until smooth. Add salt & pepper to taste. Decorate with pine nuts, a great accompaniment for this soup!

Enjoy!
Love,
Lauren

Swede and Courgette Soup

swede courgette soupYou’ll find with most of my soups they literally consist of whatever vegetables I have lying around – I don’t plan them. It was freezing on Sunday and we really fancied soup so I looked in my fridge and I had two courgettes, and I looked in the pantry and there was a swede. So here you have it, a nutritious, delicious, warming soup for winter 🙂

Ingredients

1 large swede, peeled and chopped
2 courgettes, sliced
1 onion
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Half tsp coconut oil

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the onion and cook until transparent, just over a minute. Then add the courgettes and swede and coat in the oil.

Add water and almond milk, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the cumin, salt and pepper, give it a good stir and put on the lid.

Leave for an hour until vegetables are really soft. Once ready, use a handheld blender to blend in saucepan (if you don’t have one, transfer to a food processor). Blend until smooth then taste. Add more salt, pepper or cumin if needed.

Serve immediately or keep it in a container in the fridge (once cooled) for up to four days and heat just as much as you need each time. You can top it with chopped chives and some sumac like I did if you like.

Love,
Lauren

 

Anti-Inflammatory Parsnip & Turmeric Soup

parsnip turmeric

As you may well know about me already, the disease I had was rheumatoid arthritis. The pain was unbearable but the swelling, the fluid, inside the joints was the worst thing – it was so uncomfortable. I used to explain that it felt like jelly in between the joints as they moved – eugh! I never want that feeling back so I make sure I eat a lot of anti-inflammatory foods, turmeric being one of the top ingredients. My husband loves soups and they are so easy to make and such a great thing to have in the fridge during the winter. I usually try and make one a week and then I know I have lunch for a good few days. This week I had some parsnips left that were going to go bad if I didn’t use them soon so I decided to make a gorgeous winter-warmer anti-inflammatory soup.

Ingredients

5 parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
Half tsp coconut oil
3 tbsp turmeric
1 cup boiling water
1 cup almond or coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Start by heating the coconut oil in a large saucepan. Once it’s hot, add the onion and leave for around a minute, stirring occasionally, until it becomes transparent. Then add the potatoes and parsnips and coat them with the oil.

Once coated, add the water and coconut or almond milk. Give it a good stir, then add the turmeric and salt and pepper to taste. If you don’t like it too thick, you can add more water or almond milk and you can adjust the amount of turmeric you use depending on your preference.

Turn down heat, put on the lid and leave to simmer for around an hour. Once all the vegetables are super soft, take off the heat and either transfer to a blender or use a handheld blender – my preference – and blend until smooth. Taste it now and see if you need to add salt or pepper. Serve straight away or keep it in the fridge (once cool) and reheat just as much as you need each time.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren