On my expedition into gut healing, I’ve been so blessed to discover that eating in a way to maintain or heal gut troubles doesn’t have to be a deprivation. In fact I have enjoyed it. I’ve discovered so many wonderful healing ingredients along the way that when paired together in mighty gut-healing strength, also work to bring gorgeous flavour and enjoyment. That has always been my mission- to target gut troubles effectively whilst also providing a joy-factor.
Today's recipe is one of the favourites with the participants of my Heal Your Gut online program
When it comes to gut health, one of the ingredients that gets me giddy is the humble zucchini. They’re really cheap, but absorb so much flavour, are incredibly versatile and are super-dooper good for your gut. First of all they're incredibly low in starch, so it’s much simpler for your gut to digest than some other higher carbohydrate veggies.
They’re also bursting with potassium and Vitamin C, two nutrients that help to reduce inflammation of the gut lining if you suffer from leaky gut or gut pain and intolerance symptoms. They’re also going to give you a good dose of fibre to keep things moving!
Zucchini also promotes regularity because of the balance of soluble and insoluble fibre it contains- which also acts as a lovely pre-biotic to feed all the good guys living in your gut that are responsible for your immunity.
This stupendous squash also helps to soothe the stomach lining and microvilli that perform all your digesting work, being naturally alkalising due to high amounts of chlorophyll and water. That means say goodbye to indigestion, stomach inflammation and high acidity that just leaves you feeling blah.
Zucchini should definitely be purchased organic since its high in pesticides in its conventional form, and unfortunately it’s also one of the most common crops to be genetically modified.
If you get the chance visit your local farmers market, community agriculture program, the organic section of your supermarket or an organic delivery service to source chemical free and higher nutrient zucchinis.
I love to use a slicer or mandolin to turn zucchini into noodles (zoodles) in place of grains in lasagne and pasta dishes, or topped onto salads. You can also grill or roast it, and even freeze it into cubes and make your smoothie creamy and frosty without the need for bananas!
This lamb and zucchini soup is just one of many soups that I've created to bring ultimate enjoyment as well as helping you to either maintain gut health, or do some serious rebuilding in the context of the full protocol.
Here the illustrious zucchini takes on the comforting flavours of lamb to bring you a low starch, candida friendly soup that your gut will adore.
Don't forget the next round of the four-week online Heal Your Gut program starts on Monday 12th September 2016 and if you feel like it could be right for you, find out more about it here.
Lamb and Zucchini Soup
The anti-inflammatory spices turmeric and cinnamon assert themselves beautifully here against the boisterous lamb and sweet zucchini – two winning participants standing shoulder to shoulder to deliver enough protein and fibre to boost immunity and get your digestive system moving.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) diced lamb (shoulder or leg), fat trimmed
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 2 medium zucchini (courgettes), chopped
- 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) chicken stock (see page 146)
- 1 organic egg (optional)
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 90 g (31/4 oz/2 cups) baby English spinach
- juice of 1 lemon
- 75 g (21/2 oz/1 bunch) coriander (cilantro), leaves picked, or micro coriander, to serve
- freshly cracked black pepper, to serve
Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add half the lamb and cook for 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the remaining lamb, using the same oil.
Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5–6 minutes or until caramelised. Add the turmeric, ginger and cinnamon and cook for 1–2 minutes or until the spices are aromatic. Add the lamb and stir to coat in the spice mix. Add the harissa and zucchini and stir well. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour or until the lamb is tender.
In a cup, lightly whisk the egg, if using. Pour it into the soup mixture, stirring constantly. Add the tomato, spinach and lemon juice, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly, then purée in batches in a food processor or blender. Grind over the pepper, garnish with coriander and serve.