Gut healing soup recipe from Lee Holmes
Don’t underestimate the importance of good gut health. An unhappy gut will affect your immune system, disrupt your hormones and have an impact on your weight, mood and energy levels, making you feel tired and run-down. Maintaining the right balance of good bacteria in your digestive system is not only vital to your health in general but also the strength of your immune system. Making the right dietary choices is, of course, crucial to good gut health which results in greater overall health, mentally and physically.
Lee Holmes, a certified holistic health coach, yoga teacher, wholefoods chef and bestselling author of the Supercharged Food series, says: ‘The gut is the core of our health. It’s the connecting link between both the immune system and our brain. Did you know there are scientific links between poor gut health and mental illness? Looking after your gut means you’re not only moving towards a healthier life but a happier one too.’
This freezer-friendly soup taken from Lee Holmes’ Heal Your Gut cookbook, is great to make in batches and is best cooked using veggies at their freshest. It will flood your system with easily digestible nutrients along with the fibre you need to feed a healthy bacterial colony. Plus, it is super easy to make and tastes delicious.
• 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil or 1 tbsp ghee
• 1 leek, white part only, chopped
• 1 onion, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• 3 celery stalks, diced
• 5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated
• 160g (5½ oz/⅔ cup) sugar-free tomato paste (concentrated purée)
• 400g (14 oz) tin additive-free chopped tomatoes
• 150g (5½ oz) green beans, topped, tailed and cut into 3–4 cm (1¼ –1½ inch) lengths
• ½ cauliflower, roughly chopped
• 2 courgettes, diced
• 1 red peppers, seeded and diced
• 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
• 450g (1 lb/1 bunch) kale, chopped
• 45g (1½ oz/1 cup) spinach leaves, chopped
• 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable stock or filtered water, plus extra water as needed
• 1 handful of mixed herbs (e.g. flat-leaf parsley, basil), chopped
• Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
• Nutritional yeast flakes (optional), to serve
• Watercress leaves, to serve
• Melt the oil or ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek, onion, garlic, celery and ginger and cook, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
• Stir in the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes, then cook for a further 1–2 minutes. Add the beans, cauliflower, courgettes, peppers, kale and spinach, then cook, stirring frequently, for a further 1–2 minutes.
• Add the stock or water and, if necessary, extra filtered water to cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10–15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the herbs and stir to combine.
• Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then purée in a food processor or blender to your desired consistency.
• Serve hot, sprinkled with black pepper, yeast flakes, if using, and watercress.