When the cold winter months are fading into spring it is time for some 'spring cleaning'. This soup is a perfect spring meal, using several green vegetables it is rich in chlorophyll which helps to cleanse the body. The addition of cumin, coriander seeds, chilli and sumac help to rid the body of the stagnation of winter.
- Leek - 1, finely sliced
- Garlic - 2 cloves (Australian, organic), minced
- Cumin Seeds - 2 teaspoons, ground
- Coriander Seeds - 2 teaspoons, ground
- Asparagus - 1 bunch, roughly chopped
- Broccolini - 1 bunch, roughly chopped (can use broccoli alternatively)
- Watercress - 1 large bunch
- Vegetable Stock - 2 litres (organic, home made)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1-2 tablespoons
- White Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
- Nutmeg - 1/2 teaspoon
- Bay Leaves - 3
- Zucchini - 2, chopped into circles
- Squash - 4, cubed
- Sumac - A little to serve
- Chilli Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large soup pot (I use my Le Creuset French oven for this) over a medium heat and add the leek. Continue to stir the leek until softened and caramelized. Add the ground cumin and coriander seeds and allow to fry until aromatic. Add the garlic, asparagus and broccolini.
- Add the vegetable stock the pan along with the bay leaves. Allow the soup to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Then add the watercress and continue to simmer until softened. Add the white pepper, nutmeg and chilli powder. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Transfer the cooled soup into a blender (or use a stab mixer) and blend until nice and smooth. Return the soup to the soup pan and simmer.
- Thread the zucchini and squash onto wooden skewers and quickly fry them in a pan with a little oil until just browned.
- To serve sprinkle a little sumac in the centre of each soup bowl and top with the spring vegetable skewers.
- In spring it is important to shift any stagnation that is residual from winter and focus on cleansing the liver and gallbladder. Key flavours to include during spring months according to TCM are 'pungent' and 'sweet'. This soup includes chilli, nutmeg, white pepper and garlic, these herbs help to shift and clear to disperse mucous and stagnant blood and energy.
- Watercress is actually part of the Nasturtium family! It is rich in nutrients, particularly folic acid, non-haeme iron, and vitamins C and K.
- All green vegetables are great sources of chlorophyll, which is the phytochemical responsible for their colour. Chlorophyll, due to its structural similarity to haemoglobin is used as a 'blood tonic' and cleanser.