Spicy Pea and Broccoli Soup with Tiger Prawns

Last night as I lay in bed trying to sleep, I could hear whistling, it was either the dog or my husband breathing.  I was annoyed; it wasn’t keeping me awake, I was in fact jealous of the breathing- I have a cold.  I feel like germs have been stomping all over my lungs and throat, have set up a blockade in my nose and scrambled my brain.

Normally when my friends and family feel under the weather I pontificate like the pope about echinacea, vitamin C, iron and zinc, recommending juicing recipes and healing foods.  When I am feeling run down, I tend to forget all this, and struggle through the day following the line of least resistance, waiting for bed time.

It is however time to change that, and eat my own dog food (perhaps not, Coco’s isn’t terribly appealing) or in other words, follow my own advice.  I used last night’s whistling time to combine a couple of my favourite most comforting and tasty recipes, with nutrients that will help kick the cold.  Green vegetables for vitamin c and iron, garlic, chilli and coconut oil for antibacterial properties and prawns for zinc and subsequently a happy immune system.   We all know that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant (loads in green veggies) but when you combine it with iron also found in greens it boosts the absorption of the iron, increasing energy levels and forming new anti oxidants.  Zinc, abundant in prawns and other shellfish, is fantastic at supporting immune system, tissue repair and also, again, contains anti oxidants.  Chilli and garlic in large quantities will scare off most people (and vampires), but the subtle, spicy hints in this soup will help you feel less bunged up and are only likely to scare off germs.

Pea and broccoli soup with prawns

Ingredients – serves 3-4

300g fresh or frozen peas

200g broccoli

1 large white onion, chopped

2 fat cloves of garlic, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped (if you are serving it to children use less)

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 tablespoon of avocado or olive oil (for cooking prawns)

800ml stock, chicken or vegetable

250g prawns, raw, shelled and if necessary defrosted

Black pepper

Method

In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil and sweat the onion, garlic and chilli over a low heat.  Keep stirring so that the garlic doesn’t catch or colour, and that the onion becomes translucent, not browned.  After 10-15 minutes the mixture should be soft and have lost its ‘raw’ smell.

Add the stock to this pan, and bring to the boil.

if you have a steamer that will work with pan you are using (a collapsible one, or one that fits the pan) then steam the peas and broccoli over the stock mixture.  If you don’t have a steamer, then add the greens to the stock.

I feel better already after a broccoli and chilli facial!

Once the vegetables are cooked to your liking, if you have steamed, add them to the pan.  Then blend the mixture using a food processor or stick blender and set aside, to keep warm.

Take the prawn tails, and slice the fat end, in half lengthways (see picture below).  This will ensure they cook quickly and evenly, and also means they they absorb more flavour.

The prawns will curl beautifully when cooked, if you cut them like this.

The prawns will curl beautifully when cooked, if you cut them like this.

Heat a little oil (garlic or lemon infused oil is nice here) in a frying pan, then over a high heat, add the prawns.  Season and sizzle with black pepper. When the prawns are all pink (and no uncooked black or grey remains).  Take them off the heat.

Heat the soup again if you need to, then ladle the medicinal and delicious liquid into heated bowls.  Top with a few pretty pink prawns and serve.

Pinky peppery

Pinky peppery

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Categories: Dairy Free Family Recipes, Impressive Starters, Warming Winter Meals

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