Sunday, 8 March 2009

Muddy Soup - A Superfood Lunch

Turtle Bean Soup with Quinoa Salad

I've always had a love of black food; ink squid pasta, black rice, seaweeds galore, black turtle beans, caviar, black sesame seeds, balsamic vinegar, beluga lentils, liquorice, black olives, black rice. Now I've started listing them all it's got me thinking of cooking a black meal using as many of the above ingredients without being ridiculous. A future post.

I made this black turtle bean soup which looks like muddy water, but delicious it is. Black beans are rich in fibre and antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory compounds. Regulating blood sugar levels, rich in fibre and no fat.

Muddy Soup or Black Turtle Bean Soup

  • A mug of black turtle beans soaked over night. (Bring to the boil, simmer for 40 mins).
  • 1 large onion
  • Some chili (dried or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed cumin (jeera)
  • A Stick of lemongrass
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • Chicken or vegetable stock
  • Coriander
  • Seasoning
  • Glug of olive oil
Serves 4
  1. Saute the onion in olive oil until soft.
  2. Add the diced carrot and celery for 2 minutes
  3. Add the garlic, jeera, lemongrass & chili and stir fry for a minute
  4. Add the cooked turtle beans and chicken (or veg) stock
  5. Bring to the boil, Season and turn down to simmer for 20/25 minutes.
  6. Blend and add some fresh coriander.

Superfood Quinoa Salad

Just for good measure, along with the anti inflammatory, anti oxidant rich, blood sugar stabilising turtle bean soup, a super nutritious quinoa salad with arame seaweed. As I was on the theme of black food I found a packet of arame seaweed in my cupboard. Here is the recipe for what I made. Although I would encourage you to put whatever you have into your quinoa salad. The beauty of quinoa salad, or indeed any grain salad, that you can put just about anything into it. The buttery texture of avocado makes a particular good match.

A quick note on the marvels that are quinoa. What makes this South American grain so special is that it is a complete protein, rich in manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. It stabilises and maintains blood sugar levels. Historically quinoa was recognised by the Incas as a special food, giving strength to their warriors. The first seeds of the season were sown using golden implements to honour it's status.

  • Take one mug of quinoa grain and two mugs of water, soak for 15 minutes.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer with lid on for approximately 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed.
Chill in cold water and drain thoroughly.

Add your choice of salad ingredients, either raw, steamed, roasted, sauteed - the world's your oyster.

This is what I did:

Quinoa cooked
Dressing of olive oil, cider vinegar, fennel seeds, seasoning.
Diced avocado, cooked arame seaweed, diced cooked beetroot, chopped dill, toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries.

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