One of the Best Meals for the Cold Season

Autumn is here and we can already feel the cold wind coming. Personally, I have never been a big fan of the winter season. Where I come from in Brazil it is hot and sunny nine months a year and I got used to warm climates. But if there is something that I really appreciate in cold weather is: SOUP! I love it!

Soup is for me one of the most comforting things in winter and brings so much joy to the person eating it (that is if the soup tasty….haha). The flavors, aromas and texture can cause a huge impact on one’s experience to food. That is why some people say is “food for the soul’, I believe that too. The effects of a good soup can be huge and simply lift one’s energy, mood and vitality straight away!

When I was around 10 years old I remember that I used to observe and help my mother cooking soups some evenings. The kitchen was one of the warm places in the house and the smell of good food in the house was amazing. I was always very curious to understand how things worked and for me mixing ingredients in a big pot with water and simmering for hours was a genius idea.

My first self-made soup was a beef & vegetable soup. I recall in my soup I had over 7 types of vegetables and diced beef. It took me hours to prepare it, but I believe it was one of the most important lessons I learned in the kitchen. I understood in that day that doing a soup is like doing art, where the end result product is totally up to the artist and on the ingredients or options that he/her has.

Now I sit back and look at how I do soups and it’s totally different compared to 18 years ago. Today I do healthier, easier and quicker recipes. I still used the same philosophy of cooking but now I prefer to work with only healthy and seasonal ingredients. One of my favorite recipes for years is the broccoli soup, it is a great example of simplicity and delicious flavors. See the recipe below.

My tip for you at home this cold season is to increase your consumption of healthy and tasty soups. They are not only comforting and warming but also very nutritive and healing. If prepared with care and using the right ingredients there many benefits of consuming a quality home-made soup, and that is:

1) Energy and nutrient sources – carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals;
2) Source of fluids
3) Source of antioxidants (e.g. garlic, thyme, rosemary, etc)
4) Quicker digestion than other solid foods
5) Low in calories (that is if prepare with certain ingredients)
6) Easy to cook, store and freeze it.
7) Quality meal and you can save money because is a considerably cheap meal to make.

Here are some examples of 'superfood' ingredients that you can add to your soup to add extra flavor and extra nutrition:

Brussels sprouts
Lime and lemons
Olive oil
Coconut Milk
Sea salt (e.g. Celtic salt)
And many other seasonal ingredients that you can use to create your own soup.

The most important is cook with heart and put a little bit of passion and attention while making it. That is the ultimate secret for a perfect soup. Love!

Ronaldo Fulieri

Detox broccoli & Chia soup – NEW - Updated version

If you love or don’t love broccoli you must try this recipe. It’s just amazing how much taste you can get from such natural ingredients. And to be honest with you it doesn’t taste and has texture like a broccoli either. Nothing sophisticated and complicated, this soup is proof that simple things are the best sometimes.

Nutritional benefits

1) Light meal and low calorie - easy to digest
2) Cleansing and detoxing - active compounds found in broccolis and garlic
3) Source of Omega-3, 6 and 9 – Chia seeds is rich source of essential fat acids

Ingredients – serves 4

500g broccolis preferably organic – cut into florets
2 tablespoon of chia seeds
2 tablespoons of olive, macadamia or coconut oil
2 garlic cloves – crushed
2 teaspoon of celtic salt
½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
Cooking instructions

In a big saucepan, bring the water to the boil with a good pinch of salt. Add the broccoli and cook until soft and tender. Drain the broccoli but keep the leftover water aside.
Add the hot broccoli to a blender with 1 1/2 cups of water. Add the garlic, chia seeds and olive oil.
Blend until smooth. Add more water if needed, salt and pepper to taste to and serve with wholegrain croutons, chicken pieces or roasted nuts.

Recipe taken and adapted from ‘Ronaldo’s Kitchen: the superpower of nutrition’ cookbook.