So, this might seem a bit of a daft name for a soup, but hear me out! Ujjayi is a Sanskrit term that translates as “victorious”, and is the type of breath used in most yoga practices. Using Ujjayi fires up the blood flow, centres the mind and calms the nervous system. It grounds you. And, well, I think this soup does too.
Earthy legumes and root veg are comforting without being heavy in the body. Simmering them steadily means they soak up the lovely warming thai flavours here, and become easier to digest. A crunchy red pepper and some kale (ah, kale!) add texture, and your daily doses of vitamins C and K (which are essential in the body’s healing processes).
Very victorious. And it’s simple, so: easy win!
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes or 1 small-medium butternut squash (or a
combination of the two), peeled and diced
2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
1 litre vegetable stock (home-made or use a stock cube)
1 x tin chickpeas (in water only), drained and rinsed
1 x tin butterbeans (in water only), drained and rinsed
1 small red pepper, chopped into small pieces
3-4 handfuls of kale, spinach, or other leafy greens
1. Melt the coconut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion and celery and sauté gently until translucent.
2. Add the sweet potatoes/butternut squash and the curry paste, stirring to distribute the paste evenly over the vegetables.
3. Once well mixed, add the vegetable stock chickpeas and butterbeans and bring everything to a rolling simmer for 10-15 minutes.
4. Once the potatoes have softened, add the red pepper and greens and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes.
5. If you’re not in a hurry to eat, leave the soup to simmer very gently for a while longer, to allow the flavours to develop. If you’re starving, dig right in!
This recipe is vegan (just watch your thai curry paste; some contain anchovy extract or similar), but switching the beans for some cooked chicken or prawns (add them right at the end, with the pepper and greens) turns it into an easy Paleo/ Whole 30 meal instead (again, watch curry pastes and stock cubes for added sugars, flours etc).
As a singer, yoga teacher and lover of all things tasty, I’m constantly reviewing my connection with my body – and, by extension, the food I eat. I got into cooking in my early teens, when creating the perfect brownie was the biggest life problem I faced. Now, after digestive problems, sugar crashes and migraines have led me to a largely sugar-,grain-, and dairy-free existence, my love of cooking is driven by the search for food that is satisfying and nourishing. And just so you know, I consider eating almond butter from the jar (daily) both satisfying and nourishing…”