Something quick and easy to kick start 2019!
A simple, healthy and delicious soup with some of the Thai flavours I totally love.
This is how I’d like to kick off 2019, a steaming, bright and nourishing bowl of goodness. Red peppers are packed full of vitamin C and after the festive season, I’m sure a lot of you fancy a pick me up, tasty dishes that are lighter and give our body a big hug. Comfort food can be healthy and satisfying. No probs.
This soup contains coconut, chickpeas, turmeric, ginger, loads of my favourite foods. Bar the Kaffir lime leaves (see below) and lemongrass these are easy to find ingredients, that many of you might have in the kitchen already.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year………………
Of course, January is now officially Veganuary, they’ll be changing the calendars next year for sure! If you’re trying out Veganuary, you’re not alone, record numbers have signed up worldwide this year. I even saw it all over the TV around New Year’s, right there, bang in the middle of prime time programmes. Just awesome to see a vegan lifestyle skyrocketing, being embraced and enjoyed!
The people over at Veganuary have always been lovely to us and we even have some recipes over on their website, check them out here. Good luck to anyone giving it a go and long may your vegan-ness continue! Let us know if you need a hand or some advice, we’re fully available for pats on back, big thumbs up and bags of encouragement. GO FOR IT!!
What are Kaffir Limes? Why are they so awesome!!
Dried kaffir lime leaves can be found in most supermarkets. I buy them frozen in a local Chinese supermarket, these have been frozen fresh. They are much better than the dried varieties, but you can use either in this recipe.
I’ve been lucky to travel around South East Asia and work and stay in some beautiful places, some even had kaffir lime trees. The limes themselves are like big, nobbly limes, with thick piths, very fragrant. The leaves can be used in all kinds of cooking, it’s essential oils are use in perfumery, and it’s really like a bay leaf with an Asian turbo charged twist. Their flavour is unmistakable! When I worked on an organic farm in India, I’d wake up, pick a few leaves and make a refreshing tea with them, watch the lizards and mongoose chase each other.
Eating peppers at this time of year means we have a great source of vitamin C. Peppers are said to be three times higher in vitamin C than oranges, red peppers are best, but green peppers also contain good levels of vit C.
Jane and I have been spending time with family and friends over Christmas, we’ve been to North Yorkshire and Durham mainly and really love the time away with the people who rock our world!!
We’ve actually not stuffed ourselves too much! We both feel like we’ve lost weight over Christmas, which is pretty unusual. I go back to the fact that freshly cooked vegan food can be so, so healthy and tasty. We’ve had many positive comments over Christmas, so many non-vegans digging the food.
I feel like 2019 will be the greatest year for vegans in the UK EVER! We have some great plans, we’ll be hosting our vegan cooking week in Spain again (click here) and will be announcing new dates for events and holidays in Wales soon. Exciting stuff and we hope to see you at one soon! Keep up to date with all our news, recipes and other bits and pieces by signing up for our seasonal newsletter, right here.
One of the main things I’ll be working on in 2019 will be a new cookbook! I have an idea and a group of recipes that I love, soooooooooooooooo, watch this space:)
Big thanks to all who cooked our recipes over Christmas and New Years and let us know, it was great to see pictures over on Twitter and Facebook, it makes our day!! We love to see your kitchen creations, you really bring our recipes to life!!
You may like to pick the lime leaves out before you blend the soup, but I generally leave them in.
Use the softer, centre piece of your lemongrass. Discard the tough outer leaves. You’ll find lemongrass in most supermarkets.
Thai Red Pepper and Coconut Soup – Vegan
The Bits – For 4-6 large bowls
5 red peppers (deseeded and chopped)
3 medium carrots (chopped)
1 large onion (sliced)
3 heaped tbs fresh ginger (roughly chopped)
2 heaped tbs fresh lemongrass (peeled and chopped)
1 fresh chilli (sliced)
1 can chickpeas (drained)
1 can chopped tomato or passatta
1 can coconut milk
8 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 tbs turmeric
Tamari or soya sauce
In a large saucepan, add 1 tbs cooking oil, fry the onions and ginger with 1 teas salt until soft, 3 minutes will do.
Then add the carrots, chilli, lemongrass and peppers, fry for 5 minutes, then add the tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, kaffir lime leaves and turmeric, bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes more, until the carrots are soft.
Blend with a stick blender then season with salt, if needed, and adjust the consistency using hot water if it’s too thick.
Serve with chillies, coriander and lime wedges. We also love it with sticky coconut rice balls.
Kaffir lime has many uses in Asia, not just for the pot! The lime juice makes a great shampoo, the plant is a natural insect repellent, when used in aromatherapy kaffir lime is relaxing, can reduce stress and help with a good nights sleep, also many people chew the leaves, it is said to help with oral health.