Often we think we are eating well however the cold weather and life a can get on top of us and, even with soup, you may need extra help. Finding a daily dose of superfoods can really help your general health and gut health which is especially important if your skin is dehydrated.
The colder weather brings less humidity and once the heaters are on there is even less water in the air to help our dehydrated skin stay moist. The water from our cells is simply sucked out and our skin becomes dehydrated causing more fine lines and, if your skin is prone, more breakouts. A really easy and effective way to feel the comfort, stay warm inside and keep your gut health and body full of what it needs is via soups – and we all know that if we have a healthy gut biome we are much more likely to have gorgeous clear skin!
So here are three of my favorite quick soup recipes that will keep your insides happy which is reflected on the outside!
Tomato, Capsicum & Herb Soup
Tomatoes are full of antioxidants including vitamin C; therefore, eating tomatoes may help reduce the amount of cell-damaging free-radicals in the body and will give you a youthful skin. Tomatoes fight cellular damage, further retaining the moisture, thereby, preventing fine lines and wrinkles. Capsicums are an excellent source of vitamin A and C (red contain more than green capsicums). They are also a good source of dietary fibre, vitamin E, B3 which protects your skin against sun damage, B6 and folate. So tons of antioxidants! Herbs contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and nutrients your skin and hair need to look healthy.
FOR THE SOUP:
FOR THE HERB GARNISH:
- 750gm ripe tomatoes
- 1 large capsicum
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. chili flakes, depending on your preferred level of spice
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- Sliced almonds for topping, if desired
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or whatever you have in the garden or fridge
- One way you can make it is to roast the tomatoes and capsicums in the oven. This will make the soup a bit sweeter. To do this pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them on a baking tray. Cut the capsicum in half, removing and discarding the stem and seeds, and add it to the baking pan. Drizzle the tomatoes and capsicum with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Transfer the baking pan to your pre-heated oven and roast for 45 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. Alternatively, for a quicker soup, just chop up the tomatoes and capsicums and add to the other sauteed veg.
- Warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy bottom pot set over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add the minced garlic, tomato paste and chili flakes and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Then add in the roasted (or fresh) tomatoes and capsicum (along with any accumulated juices in the baking pan), the vegetable stock and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil. Then turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool slightly. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Then blend the soup to your desired consistency, using either a food processor with the blade attachment or a stick blender. Work in batches if necessary and use caution when transferring hot liquids.
- Add the blended soup back to it’s pot to re-warm it before serving.
- To make the herb garnish, place all the herbs in a pile on your cutting board. Using a sharp knife, mince the herbs, going back and forth several times over the pile, until they are finely chopped.
- To serve, ladle the warm soup into bowls. Top with some of the herb garnish and sliced almonds, if desired for an added crunch. Enjoy immediately. To make is creamy, add some coconut kefir yogurt or sour cream.
Sweet Potato, Ginger & Turmeric Gut Healing Soup
This soup is nourishing, comforting and soothing, full of anti inflammatory ingredients and it feeds your gut with everything it needs to repair and replenish. After all, you need a healthy gut to have great skin and over all health.
- 200g lentils (or one can, drained and washed)
- 1 avocado
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 large handful of spinach
- 2 carrots
- Small knob of fresh turmeric grated
- 1cm piece of ginger grated
- 1 red capsisum
- 2 tablespoon chopped dill
- 1 handful of cashews (roughly chopped)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 brown onion
- 200ml yeast-free, MSG-free vegetable stock or bone broth for the collagen of you eat meat.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Prepare the lentils, if dried and set aside. This takes the longest!
- Next, roughly chop the onion and garlic and warm gently with turmeric and ginger in a very large saucepan with the coconut oil.
- While these are sauteeing, chop the sweet potato and carrots roughly, add to the pan and get it all mixed together and coated in oil. Stir for about 2 minutes to start to warm the root veg and get the flavours of the garlic and onion onto and into them.
- Add the vegetable stock, and simmer for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are just warmed through but not overcooked – we want to maintain as much of the nutrients as possible.
- Add the lentils in now for the last five minutes to get these warmed through too.
- Next, transfer to a blender or food processor (do in batches if your blender isn’t big enough to do all of this at once) and add in the avocado, capsicum (roughly chopped and deseeded), spinach and dill. Keep just a few sprigs of dill back if you want to garnish.
- Blend until smooth and serve with those sprigs of dill, sprinkle with the chopped cashews and drizzle with a little olive oil at the end. I always like to put a spoonful of coconut kefir yogurt in my soup as well.
Potato & Broccoli Soup
Why this Soup is Great for Your Skin:
Potatoes are very high in potassium, which is an underestimated key player in skin health. The reason being is potassium promotes cell integrity by keeping electrolytes balanced, which hydrates your cells leaving skin moisturized from the inside out
The other key ingredient in this soup, broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable high in antioxidants, vitamins C and E. While the vitamin C aids in collagen production in your skin, vitamin E protects the skin cell membranes by guarding against UV radiation damage.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head of broccoli)
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
- garnish: chives, vegan sour cream (optional)
- In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the onions and garlic until tender, a few minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth and potatoes to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce back to medium heat and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add the broccoli and thyme, and cover for 5 minutes, until fully steamed but still bright green.
- Puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper and serve with chives and/or vegan sour cream or coconut kefir yogurt if desired.