Pea and Kale Soup

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m just NOT cut out for Winter. I’m the person in a group who’s wearing her winter gear at Christmas dinner and is asking for the heater to be turned up! lol!

What I do like about this time of the year is the abundance of kale (Gruenkohl in German) in the markets and making soups. Now, whilst we were on our European road trip in October, I rekindled my love for peas. It was at a restaurant in France where I had a delicious and surprisingly simple dish of rice, fresh tomato sauce and peas. It was so good I ordered seconds!

Put ’em together and you’ve got Pea & Kale soup – something you can pig out on without that bricks-in-your-belly feeling after.

Wondering why everyone raves so much about kale? This dark leafy vegetable is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol. It is high in fiber, protein, vitamin A, Thiamin (vitamin B1), Riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B6, Folate (vitamin B9), vitamin C, vitamin K, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. (source: Self Nutrition Data)

It is also a much healthier source of Calcium than dairy. Kale has 150 mg of Calcium per 100 g whilst milk has 125 mg.

I recently read that kale is also a good source of ALA (an Omega-3 fatty acid) which has been shown to be essential for brain health. 1 cup has 121 mg of ALA.

And peas? These babies are also low in saturated fat and cholesterol. There are high in protein, Iron and Manganese, and a very good source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, Thiamin (B1) and Folate (B9).(source: Self Nutrition Data)

Peas are rich in phytonutrients which research has shown can aid in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and gastric (stomach) cancer. They are also a reliable source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (source: WHFoods.org).

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pea soup 1

So by all means, dig in 🙂

Ingredients  (serves 4)

  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 900 g (about 8 cups) frozen peas
  • 3-4 large handfuls of fresh kale (use frozen if fresh is not available)
  • 1.2 l (5 cups) vegetable stock
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Sticky rice to serve (optional)

Preparation

If you’ve been reading any of my other recipes you’ll know that I barely use oil and salt to cook with. Feel free to swap the water for oil and add salt if you wish.

  • Heat about 4 Tbsp of water in a large pan (add more if you feel the shallots are sticking to the base of the pan) and add the shallots. Fry until they start to soften.
  • Add the garlic and gently fry for another 2 minutes
  • Add the peas and cook for about 3 minutes until they look “unfrozen”.
  • Add the stock and bring the soup to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 4 minutes.
  • Add the kale and continue to cook until the leaves have wilted and the peas and tender.
  • Turn the heat off. Allow the pan to cool sightly and then transfer to a liquidiser to blend until the desired consistency is achieved (I like mine smooth)
  • Season with pepper.
  • Enjoy served on it’s own or with rice (I made sticky white rice – something I’ve been craving lately to go with this).

 

 

 

 

Berry “Compote”

If you’re anything like me you’ll understand what it’s like to have a sweet tooth and know that you absolutely MUST have a teensy weensy dose of the good stuff everyday! Life’s too short to go without the small things that make you happy. On the other hand, if you’ve crossed your twenties and reading this you’ll know better than to scoff at the saying “A moment on your lips, forever on your hips”. Now if you’re in your 20s, all I can say is….

Your time will run out……oh yes it will!

But see, here’s the fun bit about healthy eating. Nature has a ton of ueber sweet foods like berries, dates, bananas that you can use to satisfy all your sugar cravings.

This Berry Compote is so delicious, versatile and easy that even if you tried to mess up, you’d still end up with something you could dig into for dessert.

Here are some ways you put this recipe to use:

  1. Making ice lollies (my kids’ newest hobby)
  2. As topping on oatmeal/porridge
  3. On it’s own as pudding
  4. Maybe even spread on toast (I haven’t tried that option yet but do let me know if you do)

All you need is a blender/liquidiser and you’ve got your creamy dessert ready in a few seconds! It doesn’t get better than that 🙂

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Ingredients

I eyeballed the quantities, like I said you can’t go wrong

Berries – fresh/frozen (If using frozen, let them thaw for a bit. You could also add water/a plant-based milk such as oat milk to ease the blending process)

Dates/Maple syrup

Optional addins – coconut, banana, chia/flax seeds, vanilla, cinnamon

Procedure

Place berries and dates/maple syrup (and

any optional addins) in your blender/liquidiser and whizz away.