(Hormone Balancing) Winter Warmer Soup
I’m always banging on about soup - having a pot on the go has to be the easiest way to feed a family coming in and out at different times, with enough left over for a quick lunch the next day. This one ticks a lot of boxes – plenty of delicious veg, some medicinal fresh herbs, low GL carbs for fibre and protein and some collagen rich bone broth. The secret ingredients are soy sauce and a large dollop of dark miso paste – good for female hormones as the phyto-oestrogens help balance yours naturally. Add some mushrooms for some natural vitamin D and feel the stress go out of your life!
Re the broth, instead of randomly buying chicken breasts or legs, I tend to buy a whole Organic bird and then use the various parts as I need through the week: breasts for a Thai curry or goujons, legs for a mini roast, wings for a spicy snack, a much better and more eco use of a whole bird. Slow cooking the carcass with fresh ginger, turmeric, chili, onion & garlic after means I have bone broth to add to lots of dishes through out the week, including my own personal elixir: hot broth with sesame oil and a few greens for a sneaky lunch for one. This is the easiest collagen you can get and plentiful too. You can make the both from any bones of course, beef ribs would give a hearty twist, game bones delicious too. I’ve added a fresh chilli for some extra warmth to this dish, but most of the rest of the ingredients are in your store cupboard or lurking in your fridge.
You will need:
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 large red or green chilli, pierced but left whole
1 stick of celery, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
some diced pancetta, smoked bacon or chorizo if you have it
½ can chickpeas
2 handfuls of dry red lentils
1 handful dry quinoa
1 ½ - 2 litres of good bone broth – chicken or beef
some fresh thyme if you have it – a few sprigs – leaves picked
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 desert spoon dark miso paste
Gently sweat the onions, leeks and garlic in some good olive oil with the pancetta or chorizo if using. Stir in the carrots, celery, mushrooms and a knob of butter if you like. Sprinkle in the thyme, followed by the pierced chilli and a handful of dry quinoa. Follow with the dry red lentils and bring back to the heat for a minute. Add the stock and test the seasoning, Bring back to the heat again, only adding the soy sauce and the miso towards the very end – miso does not survive boiling I’m afraid! Garnish with parsley, coriander, or the last of the thyme, a grating of parmesan or a even a dollop of pesto..