As Winter starts to let us know she is well and truly here, nothing is more satisfying than a nurturing and nourishing soup. I love soups for my lunch and once made, my husband and I take it in our thermos to work and it guarantees a healthy and satisfying lunch choice.
I have been preparing this soup for over ten years now. Unlike my other recipes, this is one of those soups that takes a little longer to prepare such as on a lazy, rainy Sunday in Winter. I make a dairy free, gluten free version for my family and it always represents a day of self-care and nurturing as I relax in my comfortable clothes whilst this soup slowly simmers on the kitchen stove.
I recommend this soup to my clients as it ticks so many boxes from a health perspective. Being rich in fibre means that it is wonderful for optimal digestion and detoxification as it keeps bowel movements regular and ensures that nasty toxins and waste are removed from the body instead of being reabsorbed. The soluble fibre is also a prebiotic food source for important intestinal flora, and this always makes me happy as they are mega important for so many functions in our body including immune health, mood and hormonal balance and I love to see them flourish.
It is a perfect choice for keeping blood sugar levels balanced and is also a good plant-based protein choice with legumes a star ingredient. Not to mention the copious amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals due to the abundance of fresh vegetables. I always buy my vegetables from the local organic markets or supermarket to minimise the toxins in my body and if this is an option for you, I strongly suggest looking at this as an option.
Scientific studies highly recommend reducing red meat consumption to only twice a week to reduce the risk of a number of lifestyle diseases. Finding tasty meal substitutes can be difficult for people that want to increase plant-based meals and this soup is perfect!
The original version of this soup added 100g pancetta and hearty chicken stock instead of vegetable stock with a full dairy pesto so if you want to do a non-vegetarian version, then add these ingredients.
- 2 cans of organic borlotti beans
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 leeks, sliced finely
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 1 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped in small cubes
- 2 zucchinis, diced
- 1 bunch of silver-beet, shredded
- 100 grams freshly shelled peas or frozen (organic)
- 1 cup of green beans, chopped
- 1 small red capsicum, chopped
- ¼ cabbage, finely chopped
- 2-3 sage leaves
- 1 tsp of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 basil leaves
- Pinch of red chilli flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup organic tomato paste
- 1 can of 400 grams organic diced tomatoes
- 3 litres of organic vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
- Vegan pesto or vegan parmesan to serve
Heat your olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Once the oil is simmering, add your chopped onion, garlic, leaks, carrot, celery, chilli flakes and stir for 10 minutes until onions are translucent.
Add the remainder of your vegetables, sage and thyme and stir gently until fragrant for several minutes.
Now add your tomato paste and diced tomatoes, vegetable stock and stir.
Add your bay leaves and basil leaves and season with salt and pepper.
Add your borlotti beans.
Increase heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil, partially cover with your lid, and reduce heat so soup is just simmering.
Cook for approximately an hour or as you like it depending on softness of vegetables.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and take out the bay leaves.
Add lemon juice to mix and any salt and pepper to taste.
When serving add vegan pesto or vegan parmesan. If not dairy free, use pesto and parmesan to garnish.
Why not buy a thermos and then take some to work for lunch and have the healthiest, yummiest lunch ever!