Don’t worry that this soup will bring you out in a hot flush! My version of watercress soup gives it a spicy twist but the chilli is optional. Spicy watercress is brimming with iron, while spinach offers vitamin C, and the basil, ginger and turmeric are all anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Makes 4 portions
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 shallots, chopped
5cm fresh ginger (around 30g), peeled and chopped
½ tsp turmeric
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
½ red or green chilli, chopped (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
600ml hot vegetable stock
small handful of basil leaves (preferably Thai basil if you can get it), plus a few extra to serve
½ lime, halved
Heat the coconut oil in a pan and stir in the shallots, ginger, turmeric, garlic, lemongrass, chilli and a tablespoon of water. Cook over a low to medium heat for 5 minutes until the ingredients are starting to soften and turn golden. Season well.
Stir in the spinach and watercress then pour in the stock. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for around 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the basil leaves, then blend the soup with a heatproof stick blender until smooth.
Pour half into a freezer-proof container and set aside to cool (you can freeze this for up to 3 months). Divide the soup between two bowls, scatter with the extra basil and serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze over.
For a creamy coconut-rich flavour, stir in 100ml coconut milk after blitzing the soup and heat through. If you have any leftover roast chicken, you can use it to add extra flavour and texture to this soup. Chop around 100g into small pieces and add to the soup before blitzing, then finish the recipe as above.
Extracted from The Good Menopause Guide by Liz Earle (Orion Spring, approx €28). Photography by Dan Jones.