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Deep red-orange soup close up with chopped green leaves on top, and black pepper

Designed for and by a tired gardener. Fast, focussed, everything has a reason, and if you make enough, saves cooking as you eat the leftovers, FODMAP low. Also works for other tired, time poor people. Let food be your -tasty – medicine.

This provides 4-6 servings depending on appetite and condiments.

Ingredients (and commentary)

 Chopped up:

¼ Pumpkin (or ½ if it’s small).

1 palm-sized Beetroot

1 medium Kūmara

These bring carbs to replenish energy stores and food for gut bacteria that help the whole system. Did you know IBS has been reclassified as a functional gut-brain axis issue? Support one, support the other. They also bring the sweet element.

Toss them into a pot (if you want, add a slosh of olive oil and start heating now).

2 teaspoons Turmeric: chopped fine, or powder. Fresh has more aromatics - powder is easier.

Palm size knob of Ginger, chopped small

1 teaspoon Black cumin (nigella sativa)

These spices bring anti-inflammatory, circulatory support for aching muscles and joints. It’s like a muscle rub, but on the inside…

2 teaspoons paprika: mostly flavour here, and can be excluded if you’re having issues with Solenaceae at the moment.

2 teaspoons of cumin - powder is fine, whole seeds flash roasted and ground are also good

Tomato. This can be a can of chopped tomatoes, a jar of homemade puree, or a smattering of dried or frozen toms. It brings antioxidant lycopene, which is also great for men’s health, as well as the sour element. See above re Solenaceae

A can of coconut milk: Pure deliciousness. Also, healthy fats perfect for weather-beaten garden skin, and drained computer-bleached faces alike! We can discuss BPA/BPS another time.

A REALLY DECENT handful of Parsley. Not a couple of sprigs. A HANDFUL. It brings volatiles to support digestion, deep nutrition, and if you have urinary issues, try a tablespoon in a tisane 3 x daily to help the kidneys.

A good handful of Silverbeet

A few leaves of Spinach, or a handful of dandelion greens, or some shungiku…any dark green leaves.

The leafy dark greens bring B vitamins to help energy, fatty acids for anti-inflammatory action, antioxidants to reduce damage, magnesium for relaxation…just keep on going, really…

3 cups of Stock: bring the protein component with a bone broth base, as we all know, adds vital amino acids used for gut re[pair – but also of course help chipped nails! Don’t fancy meat? Head for mushrooms – the beta glucans will also help immune function and mood. I’ll be honest, I use 3 spoonfuls of powdered bone broth in water with salt to taste.

Broccoli/ or some mustard green: potentially adding some sulphur compounds to help the liver process all of this.

Directions

Toss everything up to and including the parsley in a pot and bring to simmer.

Spend the next 15 mins getting out of your muddy garden clothes, or work gear.

Then, add the greens, they just want 4 minutes to blanch, don’t cook the colour out of them!

While they’re blanching, get out the blender.

Blend.

You’re done. Fancy plating or garnish? You’ve done enough mahi today. Pour it out. Just add some black pepper to increase absorption of all this goodness, and pique your digestion.

Sit down with your bowl and take 3 deep breaths, letting the aroma and colours kickstart the digestive process.

Eat.

Leftover one: Add some sausages to bulk up the protein, and quickly chop up some greens to cut the richness. Puha or dandelion here would give digestive support with their wild bitter properties.

Leftover two: Chop up any green leaves you can find, small. More plant fibre is always good.

 Crumble some cheese over. Any cheese, in my opinion. Feta would look pretty, mozzarella would melt all oozy, cashew will add depth of flavour, cheddar will be satisfying, parmesan will be decadent.

Alternate leftover: Just heat and eat.