No running here yesterday or today, as the cold I have been fighting back for weeks seems to be getting the upper-hand over me! I’m not one to avoid a run – I have run through many sniffles, often finding that the run helps clear my nose and head – and stops me going stir-crazy! But this time it’s on my chest and affecting my breathing as I cough and splutter away. So no running, but if there is a silver lining it put me in mind of this vegetable balti soup. In fact, there are 2 silver linings:
- 1) I remembered that I had some in the freezer 🙂
- 2) I get to share it with you! 🙂
But why was I reminded of it by my cold/ manflu?
Because the spices in it have great properties for helping fight off the current lurgy!
Ginger tea is a common home remedy for cold symptoms and research suggests that compounds within ginger can lessen inflammation and also improve ease of breathing.
The capsaicinoids in chillies that give them their heat can also help alleviate blocked noses and sinuses. This effect is even greater if you leave the seeds in, as this is where the highest concentration of the heat giving compounds are!
Garlic is well-known for its use in herbal remedies, and has been for thousands of years. Research shows that the pungent bulb has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, as well as tasting good!
Turmeric too is thought to fight back against inflammation. I have added more of the earthy-flavoured orange spice to this vegetable balti soup than is often used to make the most of these properties and for its vibrant colours. While the circumin that gives turmeric its orange colour has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, recent studies also suggest that it can help improve your mood as well. I could certainly do with that at the moment! 🙂
Hopefully, you’re feeling better than I am at the moment, but this vegetable balti soup is a treat to eat however you feel! It also freezes well but, because of the rice in it can harbour spores of bacillus cereus (which can cause nasty stomach upsets), I wouldn’t recommend keeping it in the fridge for any longer than 24 hours. Chances are it won’t be around for long anyway!
If you use My Fitness Pal, you can log my vegetable balti soup here
As always, let me know how you get on in the comments below, and give the recipe a star rating 🙂
Vegetable Balti Soup
A spicy vegetable and rice soup. Spicy goodness in a bowl!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1"/2.5cm root ginger, grated
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp chilli powder optional
- 1 green chilli (seeds removed if you don't like things too spicy!), finely chopped
- 3 cardamom pods, seeds only
- 1 x400g/1lb tin chopped tomatoes
- 70 g wholegrain basmati rice
- 500 ml vegetable or chicken stock
- 200 g swede (rutabaga) or turnip
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 red pepper (capsicum)
- 100 g trimmed green beans, cut into 2cm/ 0.75” pieces
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
Wash the rice well and drain
Heat the olive oil, add the cumin seeds and cook for about 1-2 minutes, until they splutter
Add the onion and cook gently for around 5 minutes, until softened.
Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook gently for 2 minutes.
Add the coriander, smoked paprika, turmeric and chilli powder (if using) and cook for around another minute.
Add the tomatoes, rice and stock. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes, half-covered.
Add the carrots and swedes (rutabaga) or turnip. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add the red pepper (capsicum), green beans and garam masala. Cook for another 10 minutes.
Stir in half the coriander and serve in bowls, using the remaining coriander as a garnish.