Anna Jones,Butternut squash,Coconut milk,Recipe,Coconut oil,Cymbopogon,Olive oil,Leaf,Black pepper,Soup

Anna Jones’ soup recipes get the year off to a fresh start

January 9, 2017

The first column of a brave new year. I am an eternal optimist, a believer in new beginnings: we can turn over new leaves and wave goodbye to things that no longer serve us. When it comes to food, new beginnings can be useful – sometimes. But, before you turn the page, don’t worry: I’m not about to preach the holy virtues of spirulina or detoxing; I’m not into that. About eight years ago, I was a recipe developer working in an office with a kitchen in every corner (in fact, it was more kitchen than office). Each day those kitchens were filled with us cooks making dishes from every corner of the world. We had to refine the recipes for home cooks; each had to be tested and tasted. I was the taster too. It was a wonderful education in food, but by the end of each day I felt jaded with eating, overwhelmed by the volume of it all. I hated that feeling – after all, food had always motivated me – but there is vulgarity in having too much food all the time. It felt a bit like I’d had a Christmas dinner every day. I decided I needed to start afresh, letting what I eat revolve around vegetables, fruit, pulses and whole grains. And I’ve kept it up: not far-out healthy eating, but keeping plants at the core of what I eat, cooking them with care and layering them with flavour so they are downright delicious. This is nothing new or particularly remarkable, but it did change my life. That’s the thing I like about new beginnings: just one small change can trigger an unfolding of events we could never have imagined. For a lot of us, I think January is the time when we are most open to change, especially when it comes to eating. These broths are warming, purging bowls of food to nourish new beginnings in any realm you choose. Both are particularly good when you are feeling off-colour. Green peppercorn and lemongrass coconut broth (main picture) Made creamy with coconut milk and sweetened with squash, this highly spiced broth feels especially restorative if you’re fighting off a cold. Turmeric, ginger and garlic are all immune-boosting ingredients, while fiery green chillies will blow away your cobwebs for the new year. I use green peppercorns, as I love the grassy punch they give: seek them out fresh if you can;...

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