Pea, kale and wheatgrass soup

Ingredients

  • 4 plump garlic cloves, sliced finely
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 large leek, sliced finely
  • Optional: 1 tsp coconut oil or water to sauté in
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 100g kale, ribs removed and sliced (I use black kale in the soup pictured)
  • Sprig of fresh thyme
  • 300g frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp protein powder (pea or soya bean varieties work well)
  • 1-2 tsp wheatgrass powder (according to taste; beginners may want to start with 1 tsp).

To Garnish

  • Drizzle of cashew cream, coconut cream or yoghurt (dairy-free if required)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil,
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Dried thyme sprigs

Superfood your soup! This delicious savoury pea and kale soup is unbelievably quick to make and is packed with nutrients; ideal for busy days when you want to eat well but don’t want to spend ages cooking.

The nutrient profile of this soup is enhanced with protein powder (plant based varieties are excellent choices) and the superfood wheatgrass, which is rich in chlorophyll, antioxidants, iron, potassium, calcium and vitamins (A, C, E).

Why take wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass has an impressive range of health benefits. It is a natural energiser through its ability to promote oxygenation of tissues and in this way, it is reported to help increase stamina and physical performance (thumbs up for power food!). It also helps boost your metabolism (through boosting thyroid gland activity) and so may help with weight loss.

Also, wheatgrass can help to boost the immune system (due to the high levels of anti-oxidants), stabilise blood sugar levels, balance hormone levels (which may help improve sleep and mental health), reduce inflammation and improve detoxification of harmful toxins and heavy metals from the body. Not bad huh?!

Conventionally wheatgrass is taken as shots, but I love to mix things up and include it in recipes when I can. Some people may find the flavour of wheatgrass to be acquired (some say lawn clippings!). However, when combined with the sweet peas in this recipe, the wheatgrass flavour is indiscernible, and yet you get all the health benefits! Incidentally, as you get used to the flavour of wheatgrass, you find you can add a little more to recipes.

This soup is suitable for those who simply love food, vegans, vegetarians, coeliacs and those on low-carb diets. It also freezes well.

 


Variations:

  • Wheatgrass can be substituted for spirulina powder.
  • Substitute fresh thyme for chopped fresh mint or parsley.
  • Top soup with seeds like help seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
  • Kale can be substituted or part-replaced with other greens like spinach and broccoli.
  • For some added plant-based protein, you can add 3 tbsp cooked quinoa to the soup.

 

Pea and kale soup 1

Instructions

  1. In a deep non-stick pot, sauté the sliced garlic, chopped red onion and sliced leek with a little coconut oil or water until soft. (Approx. 5 mins).
  2. Then add the vegetable stock, kale, thyme and peas. Bring to the boil (approx. 4-5 mins). Take the pot off the heat.
  3. Add the nutritional yeast (this adds a delicious savoury flavour. Non-vegans could substitute for grated Parmesan), protein powder and wheatgrass. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Blend the soup using a blender or food processor.
  4. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of cashew cream or yoghurt, extra-virgin olive oil, toasted pine nuts (toasting really brings out the nuttiness and compliments this soup) and a few leaves of fresh thyme.