I love stumbling upon naturally coloured purple fruits or vegetables. As well as looking stunning in a dish they are packed with lots of stuff that’s good for you!!! From purple carrots in Australia, purple cabbage in Mexico and purple broccoli in Sicily…. I love to paint my plate with colour!!!
We are surrounded by colours each and every day and colour psychology plays a huge role in our lives. White is known worldwide as the symbol of peace, sincerity and purity. Red (my favourite colour) is exciting, evoking feelings of lust and love (think Valentines Day). If we are happy and are in a good mood we are more likely to dress in bright and colourful clothes, if it is dark and cold outside, we tend to wear blacks, greys and browns.
The same principle of colour can apply to the foods we eat. Eating a variety of colours everyday and making your plate colourful will ensure you have a variety of nutrients to balance out your meal. No need to get too technical with nutrition.. just look at your plate and if it looks bland – ADD MORE COLOUR!!
Phytochemicals (antioxidants, phytonutrients, flavones, catechins) are found in all plant foods; fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes. They help plants by protecting them from environmental toxins such as insects, UV radiation and fungi that causes diseases. It is believed that these components of phytochemicals have the same benefits to the human body.
Today we are making a simple purple soup which wasn’t lonely with a side of Manoush Bread. It is easy to prepare (that is if you don’t have an explosion of soup mid way, in which case you could be cleaning up for a good hour) and can keep in your fridge up to about a week.
So, a bit about the red/purple group of fruits and vegetables….
Reds & Purples
This colour group of foods contain anthocyanins which are powerful antioxidants that are know to boost brain activity, possess anti-inflammatory properties, may cut down heart disease and stroke by inhibiting clot formation and can also promote healthy aging of the eyes.
Examples: Aubergine, Beetroot, Berries (blackberries, blueberries, redcurrants etc), Cherries, Chillies, Plums, Prunes, Purple or red grapes, Red apples (with skin), Red cabbage, Red pears (with skin), Red peppers, Red wine, Strawberries, Cranberries
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp sea salt
15g/ 1 tblsp butter
85g/ 1/4 white onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
400g/ 1 large beetroot, peeled and cut into cubes
400 mls/2 cups water
stalks from the parsley leaves, finely chopped
handful of parsley leaves
40g/2 generous tblsp cream
1 tsp pepper, ground coarsely
Toast the cumin seeds in a dry deep saucepan or pot until they become fragrant.
Add butter, onion, garlic and parsley stems. Stir and cook until the onions are clear.
Now add the chopped beetroot and stir for a good 5 minutes and add the salt
Pour the two cups (400mls) of water into the pot. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 20-30 minutes until the beetroot becomes soft.
Allow to cool slightly before transferring to the blender.
Blend the soup a bit at a time to ensure it is a smooth texture.
Be careful to hold the lid and don’t poke anything in the blender to try and mix the soup. Otherwise it will be disastrous....!!!!
For the peppered parsley cream, mix cream, finely chopped parsley, pepper and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined
Serve the soup warm with a good dollop of cream – might also be enjoyable dipping some Manoush bread in it…