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The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

Green Immune Boosting Soup

One of the main staples on our weight loss retreat is the immune boosting soup. It’s our take on a minestrone using quinoa rather than pasta making it gluten free. As always Juls makes sure to balance each meal with a protein and in this dish we use chickpeas. We shell all our chickpeas, you can read about why we do this in our Beetroot Hummus recipe.

De-skinned chickpeas

Serves 6
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 small courgette, sliced into quarters
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tin of cooked chickpeas, drained and de-skinned
  • 50g quinoa
  • 1-1.5 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • Handful of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen broad beans
  • 2cm piece of ginger
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

What makes this immune boosting soup green? We use stock instead of tinned tomatoes and it is packed full of green vegetables. We use peas and broad beans from the freezer as this is most convenient but you can also use fresh. We’re in the best season for green vegetables, you can vary what you use depending on what you can get hold of. Mange tout, french beans, broad beans, peas, asparagus, runner beans, spinach are all just coming into season.

When using vegetables that are really fresh, they don’t need much cooking. The broccoli, broad beans, spinach and peas can be thrown in just before serving. The onions and leek can be sweated off at a low temperature but the peppers and courgettes don’t need very much cooking at all. You want texture in this soup and the vegetables to have a bit of bite.

The courgette and pepper only need a short amount of cooking

Method for Green Immune Boosting Soup:

  1. Heat oil in the pan and cook onions and leeks on a low to medium heat for 10 mins.
  2. Add the garlic and cayenne pepper and cook for a minute or so before adding the peppers and courgette, cook for a couple more minutes.
  3. Pour in 1 litre of stock, add the quinoa and chickpeas and simmer for 10 mins or until the quinoa is cooked – at this point you can cool and freeze the soup.
  4. Finally throw in the peas, broad beans, broccoli, spinach, lemon zest and juice. Grate or zest the fresh ginger straight into the soup. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
  5. If you find lots of liquid has been absorbed add more vegetable stock. Add the chopped basil just before serving.
  6. To serve we add toasted buckwheat groats and a drizzle of cold pressed rapeseed oil.

If you want to make this soup and freeze portions leave out the broccoli, peas, broad beans and spinach and add these in fresh. After defrosting you may want to add a little more stock or water.

What different seasonal vegetables you have used in this soup? Have you made any of your own variations?

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