Did you know that cultivating a new gut microbiota, can be achieved in a short amount of time with the right food and drinks? Eating certain foods which help your good gut bugs to flourish will change the balance in your gut and help you to absorb nutrients from your meals more effectively.
I’d love to introduce you to good-gut microbe boosting and flavoursome watercress soup. It features two ingredients which turbo charge the anti-microbial action in the gut and are heavily loaded with beneficial fibre, in particular inulin, a fibre source that feeds the good guys inhabiting our digestive system.
Watercress Leek and Coconut Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil or 2 teaspoons ghee
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 leek, white part only, finely sliced
- 1 medium turnip, peeled and diced
- 85 g (3 oz/23/4 cups) watercress, rinsed, plus extra to serve
- 270 ml (91/2 fl oz) tin additive-free coconut milk
- 375 ml (13 fl oz/11/2 cups) vegetable stock (see page 151)
- Celtic sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Melt the oil or ghee in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 3–4 minutes or until transparent.
- Add the leek, turnip, watercress, coconut milk and stock, then bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to low then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then purée in a food processor or blender until smooth.
- Add salt to taste, reheat if necessary, then grind over black pepper, garnish with extra watercress and serve.
In this dish, it is the coconut milk that brings these two refreshing yet underrated vegetables together in creamy, decadent matrimony. Coconut milk is the best plant-based alternative to full-fat cow’s milk, as it adds richness and luxury to any dish. I use it in a range of gut-healing soups, as the unique healthy saturated fats enhance nutrient absorption of the ingredients it is paired with.
If you can make this soup the night before it’s needed, so much the better, as the flavours will meld and develop the longer they are left to infuse.