Spring into spring
Updated: Apr 12
It is traditional practice in so many cultures to prepare for the upcoming season ahead of time. When winter melts into spring it’s time to lighten up our foods and get moving in order to avoid those springtime health issues like allergies and joint aches.
One way of getting your body ready for the spring season ahead is eating seasonally. By being in tune with nature itself we can optimise the body's functioning. Some foods are warming and energising and others cooling and cleansing. To prepare for spring, it is advised to swap winter stews in favour of cooler, greener, lighter foods like steamed greens and stir-fry with a light oil. Ingredients such as seasonal berries, cabbage, kale, parsley, spinach and courgette and mung beans are some of the delicious options to help us ease from winter into spring. As spring is the season of new beginnings and movement away from patterns of indulgence, hibernation, and the stillness of winter, the foods we eat should reflect these qualities.
As the days grow warmer and longer and we release from our winter hibernation period it's also important to increase our movement. If you are able to, chose something that works for your body / mind type and try to be consistent over all guns blazing style. Slowly but surely is how the seasons move and that's exactly how we should approach over exercise style too.
To get you started here's one of our favourite soup recipes which is easy to be prepared - perfect for batch cooking ready for the week.
Spiced spinach and lentil soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
160g dried brown lentils
1.2l low-salt veg stock
large bunch coriander
30g pine nuts toasted
2 lemons zested and juiced
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and fry for 8 mins until soft and translucent. Stir in half the garlic, the spices and cook for 1 min more. Add the lentils and stock, then cover and simmer for 30 mins over a medium-low heat.
Put the coriander, remaining oil and garlic, the pine nuts and lemon zest in a food processor and blitz with 1-2 tbsp water until semi-smooth. Spoon the chutney into a bowl and set aside.
Stir the spinach into the soup and cook for 5 mins, or until wilted. Tip half the soup into a food blender and blitz until smooth, then return this to the pan. Stir through lemon juice to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with generous dollops of the pine nut chutney and a drizzle of olive oil.