Hi I’m Rachel (the one who you never see because I’m always in the kitchen!) and I would like to share my passion with you for healthy food that tastes great and doesn’t cost the earth. In Organico Café our aim is to provide tasty, healthy food that is really good for you (and to serve it along side indulgent treats to comfort and spoil you). There is a very important link between the food you eat and the way you look and feel. We have always been told that a healthy diet is important but as I discover more about what it means to eat healthily, I realise how different everyone’s interpretations of “a healthy diet” are. There is a confusing amount of information available and a lot of it contradicts itself. So we have decided to try a new approach for this column, writing about natural remedies every 2nd month and giving tasty recipes in between. Along with the recipes we will give some nutritional information on the main ingredients involved. Following Hippocrates’ advice and letting your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food is certainly a recession-proof approach to health!
I have chosen a soup to start with as I think it is essential to a healthy diet – a home made nutritious soup is a complete meal and is very easy to digest. Dried Split Peas are a very good source of cholesterol lowering-fiber, they are also very helpful in managing blood sugar levels as their high fiber content prevents blood sugar rising after meals. They also provide minerals including Iron and magnesium, as well as B vitamins and protein. The fresh herbs change it from a good soup into something special so please don’t skip them! (We will have lots of fresh herbs in the shop from now on – sometimes they can be hard to find). As with all our recipes we recommend the use of organic vegetables and split peas for their higher nutritional quality and taste. The type of stock powder you use is also important, as many use salt as the main flavour which isn’t the healthiest, so look our for Marigold Bouillon or Kallo stock cubes (they both also do a very nice low salt option). In the Café we have found this to be one of our most popular soups with people always asking for the recipe - and it goes down really well with children too!
Spring Sweetcorn Chowder
225g Yellow split peas
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tsp Vegetable Marigold bouillon powder
250g Spinach, Kale or Spring Cabbage
2 Tbsp of olive oil
2 Leeks, washed and sliced
1 Can Sweet corn
3 carrots, scrubbed and diced Handful Parsley and Basil or Mint
1 Onion, peeled and diced Salt and pepper 1 Bay leaf
Place the peas in a sieve and rinse well under running water for a few minutes. Place in a large sauce pan and cover with 1.5L cold water, Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, sometimes they will take longer so just check every 5 minutes until they feel soft. Remove any residue that rises up to the surface with a slotted spoon. Top up with more water if necessary. While the peas are cooking fry the chopped onions, leeks, carrots and bay leaf in olive oil on a medium heat for 10 min’s then add the sweet potato and garlic and cook for another 5 min’s., keeping you eye on it to make sure nothing is sticking. When the peas have cooked for 25 min’s blend with a hand blender, add the cooked veggies to the split peas, remembering to take out the bay leaf at this point, and cook for another 15 min’s. Chop up the greens and add along with the sweet corn to the split peas, cook for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste. Chop the herbs, stir into the soup and serve. If you would like to freeze some portions then just leave out the greens and the herbs and add them later.