I’ve basically lived off this coconut cream of vegetable soup all winter and spring. My sister gave me the recipe, and it fitted right into a hole in my life that was waiting for it (my gob! sorry, I could not help saying that!!). I have adapted the soup to my taste, and which veg I have, parsnip, onion, coconut, spices and ginger are the only constant ingredients.
I love soup in so many ways. It’s easy to make, no messing around. All the goodness (after cooking) is left in the pot, nothing wasted. It is filling and satisfying, hydrating, warming. If you can’t be bothered with all that chewing business, that’s fine, there’s the blender. It’s anti-inflammatory and low GI and GL. It keeps so well, tastes even better the next day, and you can freeze it. I make a big pot, and then I have a meal ready, which is great. It is so versatile, one day you can make it one way, another vary it with say, swede instead of sweet potato, or carrot, add cooked spring greens or kale on top… You can also add different types of beans, herbs, different spices…
This is what I love about simple food, like most things in this life, focus on the simple element and another world opens up. Being in focus is so good for you too. Slowly but surely I’m leaving behind those things in my life that block my focus, that cause me to disconnect.
i want to connect, I want to really see what it is that I am, that I am consuming, and what part I am playing in this world.
It’s a process, I’m not too hard on myself when I make mistakes, I’m always making mistakes in this life, I’m a human after all, we seem to be prone to it.
Getting a local organic fruit and veg box has been a huge part in this awakening process for me. I couldn’t recommend it more. They come without being wrapped in plastic, (connect, tick) fresh from a local small-holding (tick). Knowing they’re no hidden chemical nasties has enabled me to really connect with my food, and I’ve grown to love these vegetables, they’re so beautiful in every way. Seeing this pair of turnips in this photo, it brought me closer to really realising them as living beings. I am thankful for the food they give me, even sorry I have to eat them, but I do, and do so with appreciation. There, I’ve said it, I’m waiting for the lightening bolt to strike me down (third time lucky, but those stories I’ll save for another day)…
Taking photo’s of the food I love offers me that clarity I crave, in a burst of wonderful colour and texture. Starting out on this blogging adventure has been in this way really glorious.
I loved photographing the coconut and the turnips. It’s just when you look closely that you realise how interesting, how earthy, how beautiful and wild they are, how textural. Why is it so often difficult to look closely, to really see things? In this modern world especially we are bombarded with too much information that we cannot process. I think the mind is in a state of constant denial, it compartmentalises so much, that it is so easy never to really focus, never to truly realise the reality of what is in front of you, even on just a visual level.
I think I’m especially bad at this. In many ways I’m very observant, but visually, I’m not always, (I am nearly blind in one eye, oh God, I’m like an old battered pirate woman). But I think it’s a mental thing. Because of my health conditions, there’s a layer of fug in-between me and this world, and it’s my constant job to try to get through it. I rarely do it feels, but in many ways the effort of trying has made me far stronger than I ever was before, and far more capable and understanding.
(I wonder if I will ever eat the coconut, or if it will sit on its jug perch as a kind of coconut shrine or pseudo-sculpture…)
hairy coconut I ♥ U!
The turnip adds depth and peppery bite to the soup. For my whole life I thought I didn’t like turnip, for no apparent reason as when I tried them this winter I realised how wonderful they are. Parsnips, and coconut though are the star ingredients.
So many cultures have coconut as a staple food, and for me they’re a staple too, but it is an exotic luxury, as I live in the Peak District in England, a long way from where a coconut would fall off a nearby tree, or wash up on the shore. (I wonder if one ever has in Southport…). I would be lost without coconuts, though of course, I would cope (inner, coping, mantra, set, off). But I am grateful to them, and to the people who pick and process them into cream, oil, flour and fibre, who I will endeavor to acknowledge, at least sometimes. Coconut products make my life a lot easier, and healthier and more lovely. Like this coconut cream of vegetable soup, which I love.
- 2 large parsnips
- 1/4 large celeriac root
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 small turnip
- 1 medium onion
- 2 inch squared approx of ginger root
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 heaped tbsp bouillon powdered stock (vegan)
- 2 heaped tbsp ground cumin
- 2 heaped tbsp ground coriander
- pinch of mixed spice
- 2 tsp salt (I prefer black salt, but sea salt is fine)
- 1 heaped tbsp black pepper
- 1 400ml can coconut cream (less if tin is all dense cream, make it half, or to your preference)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 4 tbsp Sunflower seeds
Wash, and remove the skin from the turnip, onion and celeriac, and chop the veg into small pieces (can be chunkier but saves on cooking time if smaller) Sauté the onion with the bay leaf in the coconut oil on a low heat with the lid on, until slightly browned. Add the spices and stir, for about 20 seconds or so (depending on the quality of your pan, if it's thinner, it will burn quicker).
Add the veg, ginger root and salt. Cover with filtered water and the lid and bring to a simmer. Add the sunflower seeds to a hot dry frying pan and brown lightly, turning, for a minute of so, and then transfer to a bowl ready for serving. Leave the soup on a low heat for 20 mins or until the veg is soft. Remove the bay leaf. Add the coconut cream and blend, a hand blender is fine.
Serve hot and garnish with the sunflower seeds and herbs, I love basil, but chives, parsley, coriander, all are lovely. And it is lovely without too. Like most soup, it is both delicious fresh and improves with time, keeping well in the fridge or freezer.