This week’s meat-free recipe is a raw pea and courgette soup from Niomi Smart’s cookbook Eat Smart: What to Eat in a Day – Every Day
Simple and quick to make, this soup is the perfect meat-free treat. With the weather slowly but surely improving a cold soup might just start to become one of my lunchtime staples. This recipe from YouTube and internet sensation Niomi Smart is as easy to make as a smoothie – in fact, it’s the same as making a smoothie. Everything is thrown into a blender and ta-da – a nutritious, very green, seasonal soup. And as a big-time spice-lover, I’m also a fan of the fact this delicious soup has a spicy kick.
Smart explains the best way to make this soup ‘I made this raw soup for my first ever food demonstration. You may be wary about a raw green soup, but trust me on this one… Serve this cold to keep the nutrient value as high as possible.’
And a number of nutritionists seem to agree that eating raw food can be incredibly good for us – nutritionist Shona Wilkinson explains eating raw snacks can make all the difference when it comes to maintaining the nutritional value of our food. ‘Cooking food may diminish its nutritional value. For example, certain vitamins, such as vitamin C and folate, are destroyed by heat.’ And another nutritionist Cassandra Barns has something to say on the topic, ‘Most of the foods we can eat raw are whole plant foods, so are naturally high in fibre. This means by making a focused effort to include more raw foods in every meal, you’re likely to naturally increase your fibre intake. Fibre, of course, is beneficial for your digestion as well as helping to fill you up for fewer calories.’
As Niomi Smart guessed, when I started to make this soup I was a little apprehensive – chucking half a raw courgette into the blender? I really wasn’t too sure about that. But I was proved pleasantly surprised. I picked out this recipe because I wanted something packed with veg and nutrients that I could easily whip up at work (admittedly not every office has a Vitamix).
Here’s how it turned out.
The taste of the garlic really comes out in this recipe and I loved the addition of cayenne pepper. It really isn’t your average pea soup. Here’s the recipe straight from Eat Smart…
75g (½ cup) frozen peas
1 ripe avocado, peeled and stoned
1 spring onion, trimmed
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 tbsp lemon juice
5 fresh mint leaves,
plus extra to serve
¼ tsp cayenne pepper, plus a pinch to serve
pink Himalayan salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp flaked almonds, to serve
Place all the ingredients except for the almonds into a blender that works with ice, if using frozen peas, along with 250ml (1 cup) water, and whizz until totally smooth and creamy, adding more water if you prefer it a little looser.
Season to taste and serve sprinkled with the flaked almonds, extra mint leaves and cayenne pepper.